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The Detainee
Peter Liney
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The Detainee

(The Detainee Trilogy #1)

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  391 ratings  ·  69 reviews
Peter Liney honed his strong narrative skills and attention to detail during his long career as a writer of German, Australian, British, and South African television and radio programs. In his debut novel, The Detainee, Liney has created a dystopian world in which the state has gone bust and can no longer support its weakest members.

The Island is a place of hopelessness.
Published April 5th 2016 by Jo Fletcher Books (first published July 4th 2013)
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Average rating 3.68  · 
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May 27, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Seems you cannot swing a dead cat these days without hitting a dystopian or post-apocalyptic novel. If an up and coming speculative fiction writer is not writing about vampires or zombies, he or she is adding to the future’s not so bright pile.

Or mixing in all three.

Or most annoying of all: the zombie vs. vampire melodrama in the aftermath of a plague infested nuclear holocaust is cast entirely with good looking teenagers and twenty somethings with the sponsor tags already built in to make it
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

Dystopian fiction seems to be all the rage these days, but if you're hankering for a book that sets itself apart and that is not a Young Adult novel, then boy do I have a gem for you.

The Detainee is set the distant future, where society as we know it has essentially collapsed, the economy and infrastructure in tatters. The population is kept in line by security satellites in the sky, constantly watching. Do something
May 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Surprisingly one of the best books I read in 2015 so far. The story / main character is so different from what I expected it to be, especially in the post-apocalyptic genre.
Read it !
Jeremy Szal
This dystopian story came out of nowhere and clubbed me over the head. The sleazy, Brooklyn-style voice of the protagonist and former mobster, Clancy, is damn near perfect, and sells the action, relationships and setting even if they become a little too far-fetched to believe. It helps that the audio book narrator, Jeff Harding, sounds like he was born to read this story. It's that good.

The narrative takes a pretty sharp turn from where I was expecting it to go, but I like having my expectations
Kathleen (QueenKatieMae)
In the distant future, after the world economy took a final nosedive, the government started to cut federal spending, pensions disappeared, education became a privilege, and healthcare was non-existent. Punishment satellites took over police enforcement and delivered painful, or fatal, judgments from the sky. And the old, the infirm, even the unwanted children of society were dumped, just like the daily garbage deliveries, on what is known as the Island.

At age sixty-three, Big Guy, former mafia
Pam ☼Because Someone Must Be a Thorn☼ Tee
This IS my longer review... and I still I don't know why so many reviewers are calling THE DETAINEE a 'thriller'. Not that it wasn't without suspense, but it seemed like a book heavily rooted in the exploration of the human experience, the power of individual people, and personalities.

It certainly was dystopic, and I loved the beginning where Liney sets down the political thinking that led to this particular nightmare. (You don't have to go farther than some of the garbage coming out of the
Jul 08, 2014 marked it as owned-but-not-read  ·  review of another edition
Oh my, I need to read this book, like... NOW!

Opening paragraphs:

There's a scream inside us all we save for death. Once it's out, once it's given to the world, there ain't no going back on it. It's time to let go, to release your fragile grip on life. Otherwise, God's just going to wrench it from you.
If you never heard that scream, I hope for your sake you never will. I, on the other hand, must've heard it a thousand times. I can hear it now. A woman somewhere over towards the rocks is
Will Jennings
Aug 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although this book is in the SF/Fantasy section, it should be read by everyone. Very thoughtful but also very entertaining, and Clancy's got to be one of the best heroes ever. I read it in a weekend and might just read it again this weekend. It's that good.
Feb 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
I thought this was a fantastic, and sadly, viable dystopian read. Highly recommend.
Lori L (She Treads Softly)
The Detainee by Peter Liney is a highly recommended dystopian thriller.

Before he was sent to the island Clancy, also known as "Big Guy," worked as a heavy for Mr. Meltoni. Now he is old, 63, and an Island Detainee. The Island is really just a huge garbage pile four miles long, three across and a little over a mile offshore. At one time it was a residential island, but at some point someone decided it was the ideal place to start offloading the Mainland’s waste. It is also where the old and have
Sachin Dev
Apr 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014-great-reads
So the word dystopian sets off a particular image in your brains. About a ruined landscape, rotting environment or the polar ice caps melted down and the most common, a nuclear holocaust.

But with The Detainee, don’t expect a romp through a nuclear wasteland and a band of survivors tripping through the abandoned country-sides and empty yawning highway bridges of the world. No sir.

This book is about a group of elderly people striking out on their own, looking after each other in a society in the
Clark Hallman
The Detainee by Peter Liney - People who are a drain on the economy are permanently exiled to an island of trash that was built offshore from the city. This includes the elderly who need government financial aid and/or government medical care, children whose parents cannot or will not support them, veterans who need government support, criminals, and anyone else who is a drain on the struggling economy. These “Detainees” must completely fend for themselves on the island and it is a particularly ...more
Aug 18, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: quelle-horreur
This was a really good start to a debut trilogy. I had some misgivings about the first person style, but I got really engaged after the first half of the novel. it's a pretty accurate logical-end to our current economic policies and behavior, which makes it even more disquieting. I have one issue with the writing: the first sex scene, the male, older narrator describes how he kept saying no to the woman who was initiating sex. he even slaps her hands away. flip the gender, and that is clearly ...more
Mar 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the best books I've read for quite a while, fantastic characters, great plot! I want another book, Mr. Liney and I want it now! ;-) A sequel, new story, non-fiction, I don't care, puh-leeeeze? I'd also love a movie of this but only well done, of course, maybe Brendan Gleeson, Tom Wilkinson, or Liam Neeson playing Clancy? (Just so we don't get any more Cruise/Lestrade/Reacher fiascos, sigh; oh, Hollywood, what's wrong with you?!) Seriously, fellow readers, you've gotta read this! ...more
Rob Boffard
Jul 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are only two books that have ever truly terrified me: Brave New World and The Detainee. Liney has created something genuinely special here - something which looks from the outside like a hard-boiled thriller, but turns out to be something else entirely.

Whip-quick, genuinely clever and well-constructed. Liney writes like a hero, and this is a superb debut.
Mar 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a chilling dystopian world where an older man and his friends finally take a stand. My rating 4.25.

Big Guy Clancy is a man in his sixties shuffling through life on the “Island” of castoff members of society as well as castoff garbage. The criminals, the elderly, the sick, the poor – those deemed to have no value or nothing good to contribute to society – have been dropped off on the Island to live a hopeless existence among the refuse of the mainlanders. The youth who have strength have
Apr 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review was originally posted at Fanboy Comics .

If your only reason for picking up The Detainee by Peter Liney is the publishing buzz about it being a Hunger Games for adults, don’t; however, if you want to read a novel with a dystopian look at ageism, an examination of an extreme example of a police state, and a dose of The Lord of the Flies blended into a unique vision of the future, this may be exactly what you’ve been looking for. Liney’s characters and world manage to get under the
Dec 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Detainee by Peter Liney

The foundation of this futuristic thriller begins with an island arrangement appropriately named "Island Rehabilitation Program", where unwanted troubled children, prostitutes, traffickers, and the forgotten elderly that seem to stop the progress of society, are sent as their permanent home. These people have become prisoners with no moral compass and are forced to live on a offensive pile of filth until the day they die. The only law and order kept on the island comes
Sam Sattler
Feb 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dystopian
Much has been written in recent years about what could turn out to be an ugly social conflict between the generations. More recently, events like the implementation of “Obama Care” prove that such a confrontation is not as farfetched as one might have assumed only a decade or so earlier. A shrinking work force is being required to help support, via increased payroll and income taxes, an ever-growing number of senior citizens who now consider Social Security and Medicare to be “rights,” not “ ...more
Mar 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Big Guy" Clancy knows that things are bad. As society declined and debt increased, people looked to those with less means as being responsible for it all: the sick, the elderly, the poor... The Island is their home now. An awful place no better than a literal trash heap, Big Guy and the others like him make do the best they can. Escape is impossible - the punishment satellites are almost always watching - and on those foggy nights when the satellites are out of order, the only hope is to hunker ...more
Much of this novel I enjoyed. The main storyline intrigued me, despite my usual antipathy toward dystopian themes. It had me hooked and reading well past bedtime straight through to the end.

The trouble was the ending, which came far too suddenly. Until then, I thought I had been reading an intelligent, internally-consistent novel.

The careful pacing of the first two-thirds of the book set up the expectation of a different outcome, one that would not see the protagonists having advanced as far as
Jul 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
George Orwell would approve.

Of all the dystopian novels I have read in recent years, Peter Liney's THE DETAINEE is one the best written, most engaging, heart-tugging and cinematic of all.

His main character, Clancy, is an ageing "Big Guy", someone whose muscles, whose physical stature once guaranteed him respect in the community but no more. Now, along with the rest of society's waste, he's been shipped out to live on Garbage Island. A victim of changing demographics, of the state no longer being
Jul 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Helluva Book!

I was immediately gripped by the description of the dystopian world the author has created – so well in fact, one keeps wondering whether this dark and gruesome mise en scène could be reality one day. Together with its garbage, the mainland dumps whoever represents a burden to society on an island, the old, the sick, the poor people, even children, leaving them at the mercy of punishment surveillance satellites and tyranny.

It’s the main characters, led by the narrator ‘Big Guy’
David Dalton
I liked this story. It is a dark time in the future. If you are old and NOT super rich, you soon find yourself on this island with no technology, and where you are forced to shift thru garbage to survive. But then the government throws in young people (again poor/uneducated) who attack the old people several times a month. Only the young are allowed weapons.

Watching over everyone is a series of spy satellites that punish people if they get too violent (laser beams of death). But they do not work
Lydia Presley
I was really, really hooked by the premise of The Detainee. I've been in the mood for a good, gritty, adult post-apocalyptic book and, having read Traci Slatton's work in the more recent past, I really wanted to get a fix of the genre before her next book releases. I'm impatient like that sometimes. So The Detainee by Peter Liney looked like it just might satisfy my craving and, for the most part, it definitely did.

Read the rest of this review at The Lost Entwife on March 31, 2014.
Mary Rendall
Aug 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This novel by Peter Liney was highly recommended to me and I'm so glad I read it! I usually prefer non-fiction because of its innate truth, but The Detainee is like a terrifyingly real future world and its hero, Clancy, seems like a real person. I loved the juxtaposition of the harsh 'outside' world with the expression of tender feelings 'inside'. I honestly couldn't put it down ( a very rare occurrence for me) and I read it in two sittings. I can't wait to find out where the story goes and what ...more
This was a well-written and entertaining book - it was just so *grim*.

The voice of the main character - it's written from his POV - was just so defeated. And while that picks up throughout the book, it still made a lot of this read quite hard to get through.

I'll definitely still be continuing on with the series, and the last half is more than worth it - if you're into dystopias, this is definitely worth a look. It doesn't just blend into an already crowded genre, and the second half definitely
Pippa Downing
Aug 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
With the problems facing our society at the moment, such as poverty and overpolulation, I can't help thinking that Peter Liney has somehow tapped into a future that is a real possibility for generations down the line. A really good read and a thought provoking look at what might come to be if the human population doesn't change its priorities.The Detainee
Paula Hess
Mar 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A really unique adult dystopian read. A very believable setting and with characters you actually care about from page one. I highly recommend it and hope the author's next book is a continuation of the story.
Lars Bjorck
Jul 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Detainee is an excellent dystopian drama with good characters and suspensful moments. Once I picked up this book I could not set it down. I highly recommend this book !
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I've been writing for a long time - twenty-thirty years. From poetry, through sit-coms, to novels. I've had work produced on German, Australian and Brit TV, and on Brit and South African radio. What you might call, the long scenic route to where I am today. And I have to confess that there were many times when I thought I just wasn't going to make it. In fact, I think I'd kind of come to that ...more

Other books in the series

The Detainee Trilogy (3 books)
  • Into the Fire (The Detainee Trilogy #2)
  • In Constant Fear (The Detainee Trilogy, #3)