A propulsive science fiction tale of murder and memory, all set on a futuristic space station.
Hundreds of miles above Earth, the space station Ciudad de CieloThe City in the Skyis a beacon of hope for humanity's expansion into the stars. But not everyone aboard shares such noble ideals.
Bootlegging, booze, and prostitution form a lucrative underground economy for rival gangs, which the authorities are happy to turn a blind eye to until a disassembled corpse is found dancing in the micro-gravity.
In charge of the murder investigation is Nikki "Fix" Freeman, who is not thrilled to have Alice Blake, an uptight government goody-two-shoes, riding shotgun. As the bodies pile up, and the partners are forced to question their own memories, Nikki and Alice begin to realize that gang warfare may not be the only cause for the violence.
|Product dimensions:||5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.40(d)|
About the Author
Chris Brookmyre is the author of twenty crime and science fiction novels, including Black Widow, winner of the 2016 McIlvanney Prize. His work has been adapted for television, radio, the stage and in the case of Bedlam, an FPS videogame.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Set some time in the future on a space-station called Ciudad de Cielo or more colloquially CdC, which spearheads humanity's scientific efforts to colonise distant planets. Unfortunately the lofty scientific ideals are underpinned by a seedy underbelly where menial workers drown their sorrows, and supplement their incomes through prostitution, gambling and illegal fight clubs. The centre of this den of iniquity is Nikki 'The Fixx" Freeman, a former cop on Earth who runs a small-time protection racket alongside her offiicial role on the station. Alice Blake is the baby-faced new broom from earth who has been tasked to take over from the current head of CdC, a straight arrow she is horrified by the constant rule-breaking and casual lawlessness that she sees everywhere, even allowing children to float free in the shuttle ship and illegally growing mint for cocktails. When a body is found gruesomely murdered by two technicians it is the first official murder on CdC, Alice is tasked with investigating the murder and she asks Nikki to be assigned to assist, hoping to get he fast track to the level of corruption by working (undercover) with someone who has been described as the most corrupt police officer on CdC! Nikki is having enough problems with a potential war abut to erupt between two groups of bootleggers, she doesn't need to babysit some richie rich kid from earth who has pulled some strings to see CdC. Written in the present tense (which frankly, made me a little tense), this story was bot confusing and gripping as it switched between different points of view. It reminded me of that Arnold Schwarzenegger classic Total Recall with the wealthy elite pontificating on corruption whilst not paying their employees enough to live on. I'll confess I did put this book down a few times at the start, I was just totally confused by the characters and who was who, and what was what. But I'm glad I persevered, this had practically everything I could ever want in a sci-fi book set on a space-station. There's seedy bars, bootlegging, corrupt cops, mysterious assassins, high tech equipment that allows users to record anything and everything they see, lots of bodies piling up, memory loss ... it's got it all. I've only every read one of Chris Brookmyre's books before, this is a substantial departure and, aside from the use of the present tense, I really enjoyed it. The plot kept me guessing right to the end. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Despite the richness of the space station setting and the interesting exploration of what life would be like for the people living on CdC, I think this story suffered quite a bit from trying to balance the hard sci-fi elements and the murder mystery, especially with the nature of the two main characters. One of the protagonists was a woman who was really hard to emotionally connect with, and the other was a much rougher street-savvy type who at times seemed out of place with the tone of the rest of the story. Overall, I thought the murder mystery aspect was interesting to follow but struggled with the pacing, which I thought was slow. I give this 3/5 stars for the world-building effort, but the plot itself fell a little flat for me. [NOTE: I received an ARC of this title from the publisher via NetGalley.]