The City and the City is a novel by China Mieville in which he gives a detailed description on the mysterious death case of a lady named Mahalia Geary. The body was found in the streets of Beszel by some kids near the skate ramp. After the dead body was discovered, the Extreme Crime Squad was alerted and Inspector Borlu and Corwi were given the task of solving this case of mysterious death. I’ve picked the Jaris and Borlu communication over the phone scene from chapter sixteen.
The scene describes the communication between Jaris and Inspector Borlu over the phone. Jaris called Borlu with an intent of telling him about Mahalia’s involvement in Orciny matters. He tells Borlu that Mahalia was not interested in unification of the two cities at all but rather she was helping Orciny by putting herself in danger as she was so fascinated by that secret city. Mahalia was being thought of as a spy by others because of her involvement in matters related to Orciny and was even banned from the meetings and stuff. Jaris tells Borlu that she never really talked much about it, but she knew that she was in danger and all others who knew about Orciny were in danger too. She wasn’t even quite sure about what she was doing for Orciny but she knew for sure that everyone who knew about Orciny were in trouble. Jaris informes Borlu that Orciny was like parasites and Mahalia found out something about Orciny which she wasn’t supposed to know and so they killed her. At the end of their conversation, he tells Borlu that his life was in danger and he doesn’t care about either Ul Qoma or Beszel or Orciny.
This scene shows how secretive the city of Orciny was. The communication with Jaris confused Borlu more because Jaris informed him that Orciny is not in either of the two cities and no one was sure about what exactly was going on in Orciny. Mahalia who used to work for them was killed by them because she discovered something about it she wasn’t supposed to. Borlu was also informed that everyone who knew about Orciny were in danger so it was his duty to find out what exactly Orciny was, what was it involved in, and how it used people to work for them in order to save the lives of other people involved in Orciny and to solve the mystery of this secret city.