Featuring Inspector Dreyfus - one of Alastair Reynolds most popular characters - this is a fast paced SF crime story, combining a futuristic setting with a gripping tale of technology, revolution and revenge.
One citizen died a fortnight ago. Two a week ago. Four died yesterday . . . and unless the cause can be found - and stopped - within the next four months, everyone will be dead. For the Prefects, the hunt for a silent, hidden killer is on . . .
Alastair Reynolds has returned to the world of The Prefect for this stand-alone SF mystery in which no one is safe. The technological implants which connect every citizen to each other have become murder weapons, and no one knows who or what the killer is - or who the next targets will be. But their reach is spreading, and time is not on the Prefects' side.
Reynolds has been building his Revelation Space universe for decades in a series of stories and novels; this one is a direct sequel to 2007's The Prefect, reprinted in 2017 as Aurora Rising, and it's even fresher and smarter than its predecessors. Chasm City's 10,000 habitats have existed in relative harmony for years, but an accelerating series of brain-frying deaths cast doubt on the ability of Panoply, the city's law enforcement agency, to keep citizens safe. Panoply prefect Tom Dreyfus; his prot g , Thalia Ng; and a sardonic hyperpig, Sparver Bancal, attempt to stop the murders while shutting down a rabble-rousing provocateur. This novel's ideas are mind-stretching, including a limbo where copies of the dead can be kept and interrogated, and a chillingly mischievous AI that tempts and mocks Dreyfus. Familiarity with the earlier novel might help readers sort out the multiple plot threads. The big concepts and complex story effectively pull readers into intriguing speculation about human identity and potential.