|Submitted by Anonymous|
(Mar 27, 2000)
An authors first published novel should always be approached with trepidation. In this case no caution is required.
Set in an England of the 'near' future, society has broken down, ruled for a time by radical socialists, a revolution has taken place and a shaky return to a democratic mixed economy has been achieved.
Into this setting steps Greg Mandel. Late of the Mindstar battalion, he has been 'altered' with a bio implant to enhance his natural psi empathy into something approaching true telepathy.
No longer in the Military, he works as a freelance investigator, with a number of strings to his bow.
We first meet him performing some sort of execution, after which he plays the gallant white knight rescuing a damsel.
Once we get past this poor and hackneyed opening, the plot opens up revealing a sabotage plot against one of the largest corparations left in England. Greg Mandel is called in to discover and solve the problem.
For a first novel, it is a relatively complex plot which Hamilton handles well. For once, I did not guess the surprise package with which the author opens the endgame and climax of the book.
The characters are sympathetic and realistic. The future technology nicely extrapolated from current capabilites with no 'magic' required to move the plot along.
I can recomend this book as a good read and a fine debut.
Given the nature of Greg Mandels trade and his 'secret' weapon, we can only assume that this is the first book of a series of Greg Mandel novels. I await them with anticipation.
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