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I am looking for a book that I read in the late 1990s (maybe the very early 2000's).

There is a system of voting by TV which also serves as tribunal:

  • People would vote on laws and, in the case of infraction or crime, vote if the accused is guilty or innocent.
  • I remember that there was something about not knowing who the accused are so you can easily vote "guilty" even if the accused is you or a member of your family.
  • The sentence is always death, and you can be sentenced for small things such as not voting enough times in the year or some other exaggerations like that.
  • The system does warn the culprits just before the start of the hunt.
    • The poor "prey" were usually so unprepared that it was very easy for the hunters to catch them in the allotted time.

The main point of the story is the description of how governmental agents hunt down "criminals" to kill them. The agents are actually from different teams which are competing with each other. One of the main characters (if not the principal one) is the captain or leader of one of those teams. Because he wants to score high, he wants to track down his own father who he has known the general whereabouts of for a couple of years.

  • The team scores are broadcast on TV.
  • The hunt for an individual "criminal" may have had a time limit.

The father is guilty of being a political opponent of this system.

  • The father was expecting to be sentenced so, if I remember correctly, he had prepared something like a cabin in the wood for his escape.

Other possible hints:

  • The universe of the story would be as you could have imagined a very near future in the 1990s.
  • I don't remember any kind of Internet system (only TV) or mobile phones
    • The communications were more radio-like, maybe like citizen-band radios.
  • I think I remember that they were also using something similar to arrows to kill
    • Which can also be a pistol crossbow. Or completely false due to mix-up memories.
  • I do think I remember that the highways had a light system which was reacting to the presence of vehicles
    • Basically, only switching on when there was a car around.

Note: I read the book in French, but I would be very surprised if the novel isn't originally in English.

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  • I don't think it's Robert Sheckley's Victim series , though it has some points in common.
    – Joe L.
    Mar 2 '15 at 0:29
  • 1
    @JoeL. No, it isn't. I am not 100% sure but I think that the score of the different hunters team was actually broadcast on the TV. And I forgot: the hunt had a time-limit; however the poor "preys" were so unprepared that it was usually very easy for the hunters to catch them in the alloted time. The father of the man was expecting to be sentenced so if I remember correctly, he had prepared something like a cabin in the wood for his escape. (Interesting suggestion, though)
    – Mitra
    Mar 2 '15 at 0:39
  • This sounds a little like "The Running Man" movie - but obviously isn't.
    – Jim2B
    Mar 2 '15 at 0:51
  • @Jim2B Well, since the Running Man was a book first, it could have been, but yes you're right it is not. I highly doubt that the story has been written by S. King, since I have to recall to have read any book from him.
    – Mitra
    Mar 2 '15 at 1:32
  • Whoops! I thought you were looking for a movie. Sorry :)
    – Jim2B
    Mar 2 '15 at 2:03

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