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300 Pages, 5 x 7.75

Formats: Trade Paper, EPUB

Trade Paper, $16.99 (US $16.99) (CA $22.99)

Publication Date: April 2024

ISBN 9781914585746

Rights: US & CA

Orenda Books (Apr 2024)


eBook Editions Available

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Price: $16.99


In a world ravaged by climate change, a young woman's job of enforcing Britain's one-child policy is compromised when she discovers an illegal sibling on the ministry hit list, and that sibling is hers…

`A tightly paced plot set in an all-too imaginable future … a page-turning, thought-provoking read´ Jo Callaghan

‘With echoes of V for Vendetta, ONE serves as a stark warning, challenging societal norms and individual sacrifices in the face of adversity’ SciFi Now Book of the Month

‘Pleasingly terrifying’ New Scientist

`A terrifying vision of a global climate emergency, a jaw-dropping government conspiracy and some truly devastating twists … one hell of a speculative thriller´ Tom Hindle


One law. One child. Seven million crimes…

A cataclysmic climate emergency has spawned a one-child policy in the UK, ruthlessly enforced by a totalitarian regime. Compulsory abortion of 'excess' pregnancies and mandatory contraceptive implants are now the norm, and families must adhere to strict consumption quotas as the world descends into chaos.

Kai is a 25-year-old `baby reaper´, working for the Ministry of Population and Family Planning. If any of her assigned families attempt to exceed their child quota, she ensures they pay the price.

Until, one morning, she discovers that an illegal sibling on her Ministry hit-list is hers. And to protect her parents from severe penalties, she must secretly investigate before anyone else finds out.

Kai's hunt for her forbidden sister unearths much more than a dark family secret. As she stumbles across a series of heinous crimes perpetrated by the people she trusted most, she makes a catastrophic discovery that could bring down the government … and tear her family apart.


`Eve Smith is a master storyteller for our troubled times´ Simon Conway

`Chillingly plausible … both thrilling and deeply moving´ Philippa East

`All too convincing and scientifically plausible … as much a warning as an entertainment´ Paul E. Hardisty

`Amazing, beautiful writing, jam-packed with clever ideas´ Helen Fitzgerald

`Gripping, frightening and deep … a very brilliant, masterful book´ Sarah K. Jackson

`Simmering with great intelligence and insight that never fails to be terrifyingly and thrillingly plausible´ James Goodhand

`A visionary storyteller´ Awais Khan

`A gripping and pacy thriller set in an all too plausible and terrifying future´ David Beckler

`Meticulously crafted, no detail is overlooked … so authentic it doesn't feel speculative at all´ Sarah Sultoon

`Raises troubling issues about the balance between saving the planet and our individual human rights … brilliant!´ Guy Morpuss

`Pulse-pounding and heart-rending in equal measure, this book is a tour-de-force´ Louise Mumford

`A powerful warning and a gripping thriller´ Greg Mosse

`A chilling, poignant novel that holds a mirror up to our world … sensational´ Vikki Patis

`Gripping and unsettling´ Shen Yang

`Compulsive and addictive´ Adam Simcox

`Another taut and terrifying thriller from Eve Smith´ Louise Swanson

`A terrifying, yet plausible read. Too scary to imagine in reality, and yet…´ Heather Fitt

`Horrifying and gripping in equal measure … a jaw-dropping glimpse of the catastrophe around the corner … Astonishing´ Lucy Martin


Praise for Eve Smith:

‘Engrossing and eye-opening, with heart-stopping plot twists … a stunning medical thriller set in a terrifying possible future’ Foreword Reviews

‘An effective thriller that will keep you hooked to the very end … more than that, it’s a nuanced, believable examination of how human genetic engineering might play out...’ SFX Magazine

‘Sharp, intelligent, frightening and original’ NB Magazine

‘An eerily prophetic near-future viewed through a compassionately anchoring lens ... As tempting and tantalising a read as the vision of the future it presents’ SciFi Now

‘Combines the excitement of a medical thriller à la Michael Crichton with sensitive characterisation and social insight in a timely debut novel all the more remarkable for being conceived and written before the current pandemic’ Guardian

‘Chillingly close to reality, this gripping thriller brims with authenticity … a captivating, accomplished and timely debut from an author to watch’ Adam Hamdy, author, The Other Side of Night

Author Biography

Eve Smith writes speculative fiction, mainly about the things that scare her.

Longlisted for the Not the Booker Prize and described by Waterstones as "an exciting new voice in crime fiction," Eve’s debut novel The Waiting Rooms, set in the aftermath of an antibiotic resistance crisis, was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize First Novel Award and was selected as a Book of the Month by Eric Brown in The Guardian who compared her writing to Michael Crichton’s.