Edinburgh 2020: After years of rioting and chaos, during which time the United Kingdom was dissolved into dozens of warring city-states, Edinburgh achieves stability thanks to the Council of City Guardians and their vision of a new Age of Enlightenment. It becomes the Body Politic.
The Council's goal of a "perfect" city-where television, private cars, and popular music are banned, and where crime is virtually nonexistent-is shattered when a brutal serial killer is discovered among their ranks. Can the fearsome Ear, Nose and Throat Man be back to his grisly old tricks? The usually complacent Council is forced to turn to the man they demoted years ago-the irreverent, blues-haunted Quintilian Dalrymple-to catch the gruesome killer.