Sharp and Dangerous Virtues (Hardcover)

A Novel

By Martha Moody

Swallow Press, 9780804011419, 400pp.

Publication Date: October 9, 2012

List Price: 26.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


It’s 2047 in Dayton, Ohio. In response to food and water shortages, the U.S. government has developed an enormous, and powerfully successful, agricultural area—the “Heartland Grid”—just north of the city. In the meantime, in the wake of declining American power a multinational force has established itself in Cleveland. Behind these quickly shifting alliances lies a troubling yet tantalizing question: what will the American future look like?

Sharp and Dangerous Virtues is the story of ordinary people caught in situations they had never planned for or even imagined. There are Chad and Sharis, a married couple with two sons, holding out for normal life in their decaying suburb; Tuuro, a black church custodian whose false confession of murder is used for political purposes; Lila, Dayton’s aging, lonely Commissioner of Water, who dreams of being part of the “pure” existence of the Grid residents; and Charles and Diana, idealistic lovers trying desperately to preserve the nature center that has become their refuge.

What will these people do? What choices are left for them, and what choices have been taken away? Whom and what can they trust? Novelist Moody—known for her vivid portrayals of complicated characters and relationships in novels such as Best Friends and Sometimes Mine—weaves together cataclysmic events and the most intimate of human emotions to create a future that seems achingly real. Sharp and Dangerous Virtues will change the way you think and feel.

About the Author

Martha Moody is a novelist and physician from Dayton, Ohio, whose three previous books of fiction have sold close to 1 million copies. She is the author of Best Friends, The Office of Desire, and Sometimes Mine.

Praise For Sharp and Dangerous Virtues: A Novel

"In Sharp and Dangerous Virtues Martha Moody has conjured up an apocalyptic thriller unfolding in an Orwellian Twilight Zone formerly known as the heartland of America. Just pretend it can't happen here. Prepare to be invaded."

Vick Mickunas — Dayton Daily News

“Thought-provoking without being moralistic, Sharp and Dangerous Virtues is a suspenseful what-if that readers will continue to ponder long after they’ve put it down.”  —Booklist