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The Book of Ash by James Flint
The Book of Ash begins with Cooper James working at a job in an American nuclear base in Yorkshire. He doesn't even have enough security clearance to understand what he does at his job. One day a package of powdery substance arrives at the base for James, and it immediately sets off a security alert. The package, though, contains only ashes, allegedly of James' father, who left his hippie mother when he was born. This sets James off to America to find his father's story, leading to a road trip among those who knew his father, invariably those who have lived outside the mainstream. It ends in Atomville, Nevada, a town that glorifies the promise of nuclear power in the 1950s. James Flint's novel has received mixed reviews with The Guardian saying, "These outbursts of over-worked prose aside, the pace is swift, the suspense engaging and the sense of place never less than precise."