coverISBN: 0330330454
NLB Call No.: HAM -[SF]

This is one of Hamilton’s earlier work (published in 1994). I found it much better than Misspent Youth in terms of plot, dialogue, and ideas.

Common themes – technology changing world economy, speculation about social and political development. Very Europe-centric look. The problem with Misspent Youth was that the social speculations aren’t very futuristic for something set 40 years ahead. Not that the issues aren’t realistic but they were already events mirrored in current affairs — riots (think, World Bank/ Free Trade Agreement protests that turn violent)

Story is set in the subsequent years after the collapse of the People’s Socialist Party in UK. Protagonist is an ex-military guy, Greg Mandel) with implants that enhances his empathic abilities. He’s hired to solve a gruesome murder of a brilliant scientist (oh, more recurrent themes – horny and virile old men!)

The narrow the probably suspects to six students (who were handpicked by the scientist as his proteges). One of them must have committed the crime but their alibis are sound.

Greg’s ex-wife is involved in the picture. To help Greg, she takes some drug that allows her to go back in time, where she sees the killer.

While I won’t say this is a page-turner, there are enough tidbits to keep me reading. The concept of going back in time to solve crimes is quite interesting. While it’s not Hard Science, it does have make it sound as if it’s possible.

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