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Tesato’s Code

** I received an ARC for an honest review ***

Publisher’s Description

A reluctant corporate assassin who is losing her edge, discovers fellow assassins are dying after killing high-value targets. When she botches a hit, her employers assign her such a target—a top scientist.

Love and loss cloud her judgment, and only following her code will help her survive.

Futuristic thriller from Karen Bayly.


I recently read the novelette Tesato’s Code by Australian speculative fiction author Karen Bayly.

The plot follows the protagonist Lily, an assassin for the massive conglomerate corporation that runs everything from medical sciences, domestic servants and the more secretive arm of the businesses of assassination. This futuristic world includes genetic manipulation, implant enhancements and keeps a tight rein on dissent or rebellions.

But assassins are being taken out by their own kind as the cooperation clamps down on rising rebellions within the ranks of its own and in the Free-Willers society. Lily comes face-to-face with secrets from her past and an astonishing future is revealed.


Tesato’s Code had some fabulous world-building and it would have been fantastic if it were longer to better explore the history and intricacies of the world. Bayly writes a fine science fiction that is solidly written with individualised characters despite the conglomerate corporation’s attempt to make all its citizens subservient.


A recommended read for fans of dystopian science-fiction, thrillers, LGBTQIA and dark fiction. A great read!