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BLACK TRACE will be previewed in serial form over at this site's companion blog, Highway 62

After the Great Big Zero, after the United States went untied, life went on.

Jake Culver is a driver, a fixer and an enigma. Out in the no man’s land of desert California, people don’t often ask what you did before or how you got there. But now someone is, and Jake doesn’t have the luxury of refusing an answer.

Against his better judgement, he agrees to return to his old haunts in the manufactured para-paradise of Orange County.


The Orange Trust runs it as a company town, which would be fine if Jake and the man at the top didn’t share the baddest of blood. Jake’s got a few days to find out who’s not only stealing from the hotbed of high-tech, but trying to get the biggest criminal organizations in the county to start a very public war.

From the cracked asphalt and no-rules motorized combat beyond the reach of authority to the regulated cool of the icehouse and back again, Jake and his reuctant partner, Tommy ‘Thin’ Manh, dig through the above and underground of a near-future California separated from a broken United States. The pursuit leads them both through the abandoned subway tunnels run by the electrified Mozarts and the subtle digitality of the Weave, to the neon playground of Fascination Street, finally leading Jake back to the one thing that he could never outrun.

Black Trace is Matt Maxwell’s second novel. He is also the writer of the comic series Strangeways, the novella The Queen of No Tomorrows, and Highway 62 Revisited, as well as numerous other projects including short story work for Blizzard Entertainment. He is a recovered animator currently living in California.

BLACK TRACE will be available on the Kindle platform.

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