Inspector Tyador Borlú serves on the Extreme Crime Squad in the city of Besźel. When he’s called to investigate a murder, it soon becomes clear that the victim may have been killed in the neighboring city of Ul Qoma. But the border between the two cities is unlike anywhere else in the world—not so much a physical boundary as a mental discipline, or a set of customs about looking and not-looking. As Borlú learns more about the victim, he ends up investigating the genesis and cartography of the cities themselves, and risks his own existence in the process. The book reads like a murder mystery but the territory tells a very different story—about the truths we’re willing to see, and the truths we refuse to acknowledge, and the people who enforce the distinction.