cover image Foe


Iain Reid. Scout, $25.99 (272p) ISBN 978-1-5011-2742-7

In the beginning of the latest nerve-wracking novel from Reid (I’m Thinking of Ending Things), Junior and Henrietta lead a peaceful, solitary life on their farm in the near future. They wake up, drink coffee, go to work, and come home. Sometimes Henrietta plays the piano they found in their house. All of that is interrupted one day by the arrival of the mysterious Terrance, sent on behalf of the space research organization OuterMore to inform Junior he’s been longlisted in a lottery for a temporary resettlement expedition into space called the Installation. Junior never applied for the program, and Terrance’s appearance knocks them off-kilter, but Junior and Henrietta are able to eventually put it out of their minds—that is, until Terrance returns two years later to congratulate Junior on being selected for the Installation. When Junior expresses worries about being separated from Henrietta and leaving her alone, Terrance unveils the other side of the plan: while Junior is in space, a synthetic duplicate will come to take his place, working his job and keeping Henrietta company. In order to collect data for this duplicate, Terrance moves in with Junior and Henrietta, but as the days go on, Junior starts to believe there is something more sinister at play that Terrance is not telling him. Though the ending falls a little short, Reid proves once again that he is a master of atmosphere and suspense. Readers won’t be able to put this one down. (Sept.)