The world-building is terrific. The books are set in a world pretty much identical to ours–except that slavery wasn’t abolished in the US in the 19th century. In fact, slavery has spread in scope and across the world. In Anchored, the protagonist is a man who was born a slave and was bought by a corporation to be a journalist and TV newsman. But the corporation also rents him to a high bidder for evenings and weekends. This book takes place in New York. The protagonist in Counterpunch was born free and was a policeman, but was sentenced to slavery after he killed a politician’s daughter. That one’s set in the UK.
You could easily read either of these without reading the other–they have little in common apart from the shared universe.
There are some very brutal scenes in these books, especially Anchored. But there’s also real tenderness. And in both books, the writing is fantastic.