Sunday, 19 September 2010


I've been reading quite a bit recently, so I'm way behind with reviewing stuff. However, I've just finished reading this book, so I figure I'll just get on and review it now.

A lot better than I anticipated. I was expecting a mediocre sci-fi, just picked it up at the library because the sci-fi section is somewhat limitted. Instead of finding, well, basically a 'trashy' sci-fi with plenty of action and not much plot, I discovered a gritty, intense novel that I couldn't put down, with flawed, all-too-human characters. The sci-fi element was more a background, an enabler for the plot, than what you might call 'true' sci-fi. Yeh, it was set on another planet, in the future, with high tech holograms and all that sort of stuff. But that wasn't the heart of the book, and the heart of the book was a gripping central character, an ex police officer, corrupt as they come, finger in every pie to control the crime on his planet. Well, in his city, even if the drug lords have taken over the areas outside the city. It perhaps belonged more in the crime section, where I could thoroughly recommend it as a great read, a crime novel set in an impoverished country. Instead, it took the guise of sci-fi and certainly surprised me when I realised this was no run of the mill space battle story.

My only disappointment is that it's a sequel and I haven't read the first. It is generally better to read books in the right order... However, the Harris being what it is, you can rarely if ever find the first book in a series.

If you're a crime fan who's bored of standard detective novels, this is certainly worth checking out. The nearest author I can think of would be Nick Stone, also with a flawed cop, not above twisting the law, as the central character. Or perhaps the novel Bait, can't remember who it was by. Thoroughly enjoyable and thought-provoking.

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