Echo Cycle describes a future so wilfully awful, you would never just tip into it. Couldn’t happen. Definitely not. This is Broken Britain’s Brexit future as written by George Orwell, had Orwell possessed neither life experience nor a sense of humour. I mention Orwell because Patrick Edwards’s time-travelling lead character — ripped from an unfeasibly violent schoolboy altercation and deposited, not without dark purpose, in Nero’s Rome — is called Winston Monk. He’s a glass-half-empty sort of chap and by page 63 I wanted to punch him. At no subsequent point did this feeling dissipate.