Tom Hillenbrand

Drone Country


Drone Country

English sample translation by Steven T. Murray available
Additional Sample translation by Laura Caton available – Winner of the Gutekunst Prize for Emerging Translators 2016
Glauser Award 2015 for Best Crime Novel
Kurt Laßwitz Award 2015 for Best Science Fiction Novel

Europe, 2045. European institutions have replaced national states in terms of political, military and police power. The Union authority is expressed with uncontrolled brutality. Europe is one of the great world powers – just like Brazil, Korea and Japan. Climate change has occurred and it is worse than expected. The Netherlands is definitively below sea level and Bruxelles – where the story takes place – experiences a hard subtropical monsoon with moist sweltering heat and continuous rain.

Aart van Westerhuizen, 47, a former military man, is a Europol superintendent. Europol is the European police with jurisdiction power in all the Union. His right-hand-woman is Ava Bittmann, 33, a smart and beautiful data analyst. She is the interlocutor of Tereisias – aka Terry – the central all-powerful computer of the Union. Terry knows everything and – with the help of millions of tiny drones that monitor and record everything and everyone all the time – can recreate alternate realities where police examiners can move easily in the virtual recreation of past events, therefore saving them the trouble of actually visiting crime scenes.

Aart and Ava conduct an inquiry into the murder of Vito Pazzi – a European deputy. Aart comes up with a suspect incredibly quickly. But then he discovers growing evidence that the digital data trail has been tampered with and he learns that two other deputies – a Swiss one and a Portuguese one – were also found dead in suspicious circumstances.

Thanks to Johnny Random, the most famous investigative reporter of the Union, Aart is on John Tallan’s trail: Tallan is the CEO of a big multinational company which produces and sells «specs». «Specs» are eyeglasses – used by everyone – to permanently be online. Following this path, Aart and Ava get caught up in a conspiracy that threatens to shake all of Europe to its core.

Crime novel


ISBN: 978-3-462-04662-5
release: 15. May 2014
432 pages, Broschur


9,99 €
0,00 sFr
10,30 €

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sample translation

About the Author

Tom Hillenbrand, born in 1972, studied European politics, volunteered at the Holtzbrinck School of Journalism and worked for Spiegel online. His non-fiction and novels – including culinary thrillers with Luxembourg chef Xavier Kieffer as investigator – have sold hundreds of thousands of copies, have been translated to numerous languages and have been included on both the Spiegel and Zeit bestseller lists. His novel Drohnenland received, among other awards, the Friedrich Glauser Prize for best crime novel of the year.