WINNER OF THE BSFA AWARD FOR BEST NOVEL
Jack Glass is the murderer. We know this from the start. Yet as this extraordinary novel tells the story of three murders committed by Glass the reader will be surprised to find out that it was Glass who was the killer and how he did it. And by the end of the book our sympathies for the killer are fully engaged.
Riffing on the tropes of crime fiction (the country house murder, the locked room mystery) and imbued with the feel of golden age SF, JACK GLASS is another bravura performance from Roberts. Whatever games he plays with the genre, whatever questions he asks of the reader, Roberts never loses sight of the need to entertain and JACK GLASS has some wonderfully gruesome moments, is built around three gripping HowDunnits and comes with liberal doses of sly humour.
Roberts invites us to have fun and tricks us into thinking about both crime and SF via a beautifully structured novel set in a society whose depiction challanges notions of crime, punishment, power and freedom. It is an extraordinary novel.
Exuberant Golden Age space opera plotting plays against slyly understated contemporary storytelling in this exceptional novel. Although the discovery of a faster-than-light space drive offers humankind hope of escaping from an increasingly stagnant and brutally regimented solar system, it also makes possible the construction of a supernova bomb that could wipe out entire planets. The ruthless eponymous character is willing to do literally anything to keep the secret out of the wrong hands, but readers only gradually learn who and what he is and whether he can be trusted. Moving through three episodes that superficially resemble traditional narratives a prison break and two whodunits Roberts uses cunning and restraint in revealing Jack's thoughtful use of violence to teach Diana Argent, the brilliant but na ve young heiress of a powerful clan, how to survive in an unforgiving environment. This intelligent, powerful mingling of sensibilities and a serenely assured style makes for a remarkably compelling novel.