Alice—slight introvert, crossword compositor—works at PopCo, a globally successful and slightly sinister toy company. Lured by their CEO to a Thought Camp out on the moors, PopCo's creatives must invent the ultimate product for teenage girls.
Meanwhile, Alice receives bizarre, encrypted messages she suspects relate to her grandfather's decoding of a centuries-old manuscript that many—including her long-disappeared father—believe leads to buried treasure. Its key, she's sure, is engraved on the necklace she's been wearing since she was ten.
Using the skills she learned from her grandparents and teaching us aspects of cryptanalysis, Alice discovers the source of these creepy codes. Will this lead her to the mysterious treasure or another, even more carefully guarded secret?
“The code-breaking and -making heroine of [this] smart, engaging novel takes a critical view of the corporate marketing of cool . . . a captivating heroine.”—Publishers Weekly
UK PRAISE FOR POPCO
"How many novels can you think of that leave the reader with an intriguing puzzle to solve, plus a cake recipe, plus a crossword and a list of the first thousand prime numbers? Clever, likeable, frothy, zeitgeist-chasing."--Time Out London
"No heroine this year was more beguiling than Alice in Scarlett Thomas's PopCo. A mix of maths, cryptography and vegan politics, this book might just change your life."--Independent on Sunday Novels of the Year.