Days of Atonement

Days of Atonement

3.5 2
by Walter Jon Williams
     
 

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Loren Hawn is a traditional Western peace officer walking the streets of 21st Century New Mexico, and seemingly unaware that times have changed. And when a dying man named Randal falls out of a bullet-riddled car and dies in Loren's arm, Loren finds he isn't the only man living in the wrong time--- because he remembers pulling Randal's dead body out of a wrecked car

Overview

Loren Hawn is a traditional Western peace officer walking the streets of 21st Century New Mexico, and seemingly unaware that times have changed. And when a dying man named Randal falls out of a bullet-riddled car and dies in Loren's arm, Loren finds he isn't the only man living in the wrong time--- because he remembers pulling Randal's dead body out of a wrecked car twenty years before.

He knows the car belongs to a scientist who works at the high-security laboratory built on the outskirts of town, and he knows that if he doesn't work fast, all evidence of a crime will disappear into national security vaults. In order to bring justice back to his community, Loren will have to risk everything, his life, his job, his faith, and his family.

This is one of Walter Jon Williams' finest works.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Williams's ( Angel Station ) flawed futuristic thriller is set at the beginning of the next century, during the ``days of atonement'' observed by the Church of the Apostles, a period of contemplation, each day devoted to one of the seven deadly sins. Loren Hawn, police chief of Atocha, N.M., is driven by overwhelming rage, religious fervor and the desire to ``guard his marriage, his daughters, his community''; he styles himself ``the sword and arm of the Lord.'' Then an experiment at the nearby Advanced Technology Laboratories leaves a body on Loren's doorstep--apparently that of a man who died 20 years ago. As Loren investigates the ``John Doe''--is his appearance some sort of miracle?--he gradually comes to believe that he has been betrayed by all he cherished--his family, his town, his church. Ironically, he is right--ATL is involved in a crime--but Loren is over the edge. He is ultimately overtaken by rage and driven to a frenzy of murder and destruction. Although not completely successful in his portrayal of Loren's disintegrating personality, Williams does present a credible exploration of a near-future community. (Mar.)
Library Journal
The police chief of Atocha, New Mexico finds himself in trouble from all sides when his investigation of an impossible murder forces him to cross wills with a nearby research institute conducting secret experiments involving space and time. The author of Hardwired ( LJ 6/15/86) brings his gift for hardcore realism to this near-future tale of one man's confrontation with the unknown. For most sf collections.
Chicago Sun-Times - Roland Green
This is a novel that works marvelously on a variety of levels-- as an adventure story, a trek through personal entanglements, a study in detailed police techniques and an enlightening lesson in theoretical science. And if that isn't enough, it also offers a totally unexpected ending.
Washington Post Book World - Peter Heck
Williams' longest, most densely realized and successful book to date.
Interzone - anonymous reviewer
A tightly plotted, hugely complex, but ultimately very satisfying novel."
Booklist - Anonymous Reviewer.
Williams' most ambitious novel to date combines mystery, hard science, character study, and setting with impressive success . . . In overall technical excellence, this proves to be the best book by an increasingly skilled author. It is also an above average portrait of scientists at work. Highly Recommended.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780812501803
Publisher:
Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
Publication date:
01/15/1992
Edition description:
REPRINT
Pages:
448
Product dimensions:
4.19(w) x 6.75(h) x (d)

Meet the Author

Walter Jon Williams was born in Minnesota, and now lives in New Mexico. He is the author of twenty-seven novels and three collections of short fiction.

His first novel to attract serious public attention was Hardwired (1986), described by Roger Zelazny as "a tough, sleek juggernaut of a story, punctuated by strobe-light movements, coursing to the wail of jets and the twang of steel guitars."

In 2001 he won a Nebula Award for his novelette, “Daddy’s World,” and won again in 2005 for “The Green Leopard Plague.”

Walter's subject matter has an unusually wide range, and include the glittering surfaces of Hardwired, the opulent tapestries of Aristoi, the bleak science-tinged roman policier Days of Atonement, and the pensive young Mary Shelley of the novella "Wall, Stone, Craft," which was nominated for a Hugo, Nebula, and a World Fantasy Award.

His latest work is Deep State, a near-future thriller set in the world of alternate reality gaming.

Walter has also written for the screen and for television, and has worked in the gaming field. He was a writer for the alternate reality game Last Call Poker, and has scripted the recent mega-hit Spore.

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Days of Atonement 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
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