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That is, until the Spine Thief ...
That is, until the Spine Thief arrives.
When a serial killer begins harvesting the spinal tissue of corporate employees all over the city, Detective Gray finds himself plunged into the first truly major case of his career. Caught in a dangerous mix of murder, betrayal and conflicting corporate interest, Gray will find himself not only matching wits with a diabolical murderer but grapple with his growing doubt toward his employers in the dawning months of the American tricentennial. A thrilling mystery set in the same world as the Wonderland Cycle, Bone Wires is a grim trip into the streets of the empty future.
Posted November 10, 2012
In the year 2076, Detective Daniel Gray, Homicide Tier III, investigates a series of murders where the killer has removed the victims' spines. Among the many twists and turns of the plot, Detective Gray becomes interested in a Subject of Interest, an exotic dancer who knew the first victim.
Bone Wires is a futuristic sci-fi crime thriller with a noir feeling. While the main plot is the murder mystery, the subplot is Gray's romantic relationship. The characters are believable and the situations, although set in the future, seem realistic.
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of FMB Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by FMB Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review nor was there an obligation to write a positive one. All opinions expressed here are entirely of my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, the book's publisher and publicist or the readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*
Posted October 8, 2012
With Bone Wires, Michael Shean weaves a story that pays homage to multiple genres and tropes, creating a whole that is definitely more than just the sum of its parts. On the surface, this is a police procedural played out against a science fiction backdrop. Beneath the skin is an alternately shiny/gritty surface is an undercurrent of horror, backed by its serial killer atrocities, marked by a throbbing vein of socio-political commentary, centred around the privatization of law enforcement. In a world where justice and profits are interchangeable, the investigation of a murder is considered a low-priority task, with little profit involved. Up the stakes with a string of gruesome serial murders, however, marked by the removal of the victim's spinal cords, and suddenly the detective involved is not just a celebrity, but a poster boy for the corporation. Suddenly, a seemingly simple investigation is complicated by the need to appease the shareholders as well as the public at large. Shean's narrative style is well-suited to the mix of genres, coming across as a hard-boiled detective thriller with a strong sense of technological self-awareness. The story itself is paced well, and even when the action lags, there are enough ideas being explored to keep the reader engaged. In terms of detail, this is a book that's both gruesome and vulgar, but never to the point of being excessive. More importantly, especially for the police-procedural genre, the characters are well-drawn, well-rounded, and well-executed. You can not only 'see' the characters as Shean describes them, but you can 'hear' them as well. They seem to exist beyond the page, bringing life to the story while also maintaining a sense of significance or consequence when they're out of sight.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 24, 2012
I received a PDF copy of this book from the author for purpose of honest
review. I was not compensated for the review, and all conclusions are my
own responsibility. Let me start by saying that I am a “newbie” to the
Sci-Fi genre, being a huge fan of Heinlein who’s stories always gave me
enough of the world I live in to be related to amidst the futuristic
scenarios. Michael Shean has accomplished that feat, while setting up a
story that follows a Homicide Detective in the far future. I am a huge
mystery fan, and here the book excels expectations, while creating a
horrific series of gruesome murders, the intrigue from both inside the
department and on the street are very real in feeling and description.
The story also incorporates a new romance, generated in the solution of
the murders, and creating yet another layer of manipulations while
providing the one true ray of light in this rather dismal scenario of
earth future. The character of Dan Grey is impeccably crafted; both
his good and bad qualities are given free rein: ambition and
single-mindedness combined with a rather dismal view of the people on
the fringe of society. He is resentful of being watched, yet expects
that the ‘watchers’ will also provide him with useful information while
simultaneously providing him with alibis useful enough to keep him from
being called on the carpet. He is manipulated and manipulator, although
more honest about his participation in both. Like all good crime
stories that are character driven, this one has a multitude of plot
twists that will keep you guessing until the very end. And then, it all
comes clear. The writing is polished and tight, with details that allow
you to visualize in detail the world that surrounds Dan Grey. I would
recommend this book highly to anyone who is a fan of noir or crime
dramas, and I also feel that a futuristic fan would like this as well.
The world is painstakingly and impeccably drawn, dark and clinical with
a corporate component that is chillingly believable. While I wanted to
review this book based on the mystery component, the pieces integrated
so neatly into the book that I can say that there was no piece that did
not work for me, romance, futuristic, noir or mystery.
Posted August 20, 2012
Bone Wires has everything you could want in a futuristic crime thriller. The characters are well-developed and flawed. The futuristic world pulls you in and gives you a glimpse of what could be. The plot had plenty of twists and kept me guessing until the end. If you enjoy a story that is dark and gritty, this is an engrossing read that you won't want to put down.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 1, 2012
I’ve been a fan of Michael Shean’s work since reading Shadow of a Dead Star last year, and I confess that I sat down to read Bone Wires with no little amount of trepidation. To my relief and delight, I can report that it lived up to each and every one of my high expectations.
The sheer depth of Shean’s characters is incredible. He draws you in with skilfully woven detail that ensnares you in the world of the Wonderland cycle until you find yourself living and breathing in their world, walking alongside them as the plot races towards its conclusion. Tiny clues lie in every page, but they’re so cleverly sneaked in that you can do nothing but allow them to carry you along as with each turn of the page the story deepens – and darkens.
The most frightening thing of all that it’s so unnervingly believable. Shean paints a world that has such gritty depth you truly can imagine our society evolving that way. You can understand not only why the society he envisages has reached this point, but also why his characters respond to it the way they do.
For those who like dark, character-driven fiction with a clever plot, you could do far worse than allow Bone Wires into your head. But a word of warning...be prepared for a conclusion that will blow your mind.
Posted July 23, 2012
Bone Wires by Michael Shean is not your average mystery/crime novel. It's set in futuristic Seattle. And it's crazier than you could ever imagine.
In the future technology is king and consumerism is queen. And there's a place called Wonderland. Daniel Gray works for the local private company called Civil Protection. He is a detective in Homicide Solutions. And he is trying to move up in the ranks. All he needs is a big case. They say watch what you wish for.
A number of killings take place. But these aren't your average murders. Someone is stealing spines. And that's not the only strange thing that's going on.
It's a world of enhancement implants to make you bigger and faster and scarier. Fashion is extreme. There's all kinds of gadgets. It's an addiction really.
There's two ends of the spectrum. You fall deeply into the lives of the characters. And then there's the nasty details of it all. It's the same feeling I get when I read Stephen King. It's so bad. But I can't look away. Shean reaches into the recesses of our soul to stroke the darkness within. Heinously enchanting. Breathtakingly gruesome. Spinetingling.
Posted July 19, 2012
Michael Shean returns this week with his second novel, Bone Wires as he seeks to explore and investigate the world which he so beautifully crafted in his first novel, Shadow of a Dead Star. In this second novel, Shean demonstrates an aptitude and fluidity in being able to explore and dismantle themes and genres in the novel. Bone Wires shifts from an opening as a dark and horrific murder mystery that keeps readers on edge and becoming embroiled, even fascinated, with the sadistic murders in this neo-libertarian world to a novel rooted in the exploration of relationships and the inter-connectedness of different plots. There can be no doubt that this novel shows Shean to be a writer who is prepared to tap into the darkest recesses of the mind in order to shock audiences with his graphic detail of a world sustained by corporatism and built upon foundations of savagery and ambition.
Bone Wires follows Daniel Gray, a Tier Three Detective with Homicide Solutions, a branch of a public-listed organisation known as Civil Protection, Washington's police force, as he looks to explore a series of gruesome murders in which the culprit removes the spines of their victim as a “trophy”. Gray is portrayed as vicious and ambitious in his desire to reach the next level of corporate success in Homicide Solutions and these murders provide him with ample opportunity to become the shining star of Civil Protection. Shean's depiction of Gray in Bone Wires is harrowing for the recognition that it paints a portrait of society governed by corporate ambition and by individual desire superseding the wider moral questions. Bone Wires follows a trend and pattern set in Shadow of a Dead Star in being character-driven, allowing the reader to connect and explore the inner workings of its principal character as we are thrust into a multi-faceted plot that promises to delight, surprise and shock audiences.
Bone Wires is a free-flowing novel that explores ideas and engages the reader, trapping them in a vice of decadence, violence and plot. It captures the imagination of the reader and asks them questions. Much like the great Sherlock Holmes novels, the ending is as much a resolution of affairs and matters as it is a statement. Bone Wires is both a logical and heart-felt novel that feeds into people's ideas about what the future might be like, about their own lives and how much we are trapped by own expectations and conventions. Michael Shean, once again, demonstrates a talent for capturing the imagination of his readers and having the courage to build on his inventive and creative world. As a science-fiction novel, it is excellent but where it is exceptional is in its capturing the heart of a world ensnared by corporatism and creating characters motivated by it.
Posted July 21, 2012
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Posted October 8, 2012
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