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9Tail Fox (GOLLANCZ S.F.) [Paperback]

Jon Courtenay Grimwood
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

10 Aug 2006 GOLLANCZ S.F.

A noir melding of ancient Chinese folklore, organised crime and cutting edge medical technology.

A policeman is murdered in San Francisco. And spends the rest of the novel hunting down the man who did it. And trying to get the answer to some terrifying questions. Why is he in another man¿s body? Why is someone trying to kill him. Again. And why is he being haunted by a nine tailed Albino fox?

From the shell-shattered streets of Stalingrad in 1942 to the back allys of San Fransico's chinatown, evocative of place, crystal clear in its depiction of character this is literary fantastic fiction at its most compelling from one of the most exciting writers working today.

Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (10 Aug 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 057507809X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575078093
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 250,141 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jon Courtenay Grimwood was born in Malta and christened in the upturned bell of a ship. He grew up in the Far East, Britain and Scandinavia. Apart from novels he writes for magazines and newspapers. He has been shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke Award twice and the BSFA Award for Best Novel seven times, winning twice. He lives in Winchester with his wife, novelist and editor-in-chief of RED magazine, Sam Baker.

Product Description


"This is an unusual blend of crime noir, Chinese mythology, and cutting edge medical technology which combine to form an absorbing thriller with a unique twist in the tale." (Yorkshire Evening Post)

Book Description

The extraordinary new novel from one of this or any genre's most talented writers - cutting edge genre writing with an impeccable critical track record.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
I bought this on a whim to read on the bus in the morning, and discovered that I couldn't just leave off when my stop was next -- I had to keep reading once I got home and finished it within two days. This is the first of Jon Courtenay Grimwood's books I've read, so I had no idea what to expect. You're kept guessing until the end, and while there's a definite feeling of nearly having the full picture, he successfully keeps you in the dark until it's time to wrap it up and go home. Gritty and cynical without leaving you feeling like you need to wash your brain out, 9Tail Fox is a refreshing distraction for anyone who loves a good mystery, and one which will leave your head spinning hours after you're done and wishing it hadn't had to end.

(A brief summary, as there's none currently entered)

Bobby Zha was a streetwise San Fransisco cop. Not a stellar one, but he had a few redeeming qualities. Then someone killed him and set him up to look like a crooked cop, indeed, and it seems no-one's following up on the case. And he wants to know why. Why he was killed, why he's still alive but wearing the face of another man, and why the nine-tailed celestial fox keeps appearing to him. In a world set slightly in the future where coincidence is an illusion, the supernatural hovers on the periphery of one's gaze and everyone carries secrets, Bobby has to piece together the shattered mirror of his own life and his last few days as Bobby Zha before his second chance runs out of time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful crime thriller, not a fantasy 11 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As always, I am first captured by Gromwood's elegant prose. Some of his books have plots that take a little settling in but the quality of his writing makes this a pleasant introduction rather than a grind through to the meat of the book.

The setting of this book in a more or less real contemporary USA is a deviation from his norm. As such, I was a little unsure about buying it. Despite a mythological nine-tailed fox and a sort of reincarnation, the book is firmly positioned as a crime thriller. Somehow Grimwood makes the mystical element sit comfortably in this genre by almost taking it for granted rather than making a big point of it.

As always, his characters are richly and sympathetically drawn. We are never given a heavy-handed complete explanation of any of them. Instead, as in real life, we are left to form our own opinions of them from a patchwork of exposure to their actions and coversations.

Thank you, Mr Grimwood, for another riveting tale.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gritty gripping fun! 27 Jun 2008
By Colonel
The first book I ever read by this author, I picked it up on a recomendation and recieved a smack-in-the-face surprise of exceptional quality. The story and characters had me from a very early stage and as previous reviews have stated, you'll want to keep on reading this once you start, find somewhere cosy to sit and try it.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What to do when you are murdered... 17 Jan 2007
9Tail Fox, put simply, is a supernatural crime drama. Though it deals with an aspect of fantasy/science fiction that has been touched upon before by various other mediums, the story is told very convincingly as you can really believe what is happening to the protagonist Bobby Zha.

The story is set over a period of five weeks, San Franciscan Sergeant Bobby Zha is a wildcard detective recognised for his unconventional yet successful methods, alienated from his wife and daughter and living a life that he doesn't much care about. When he is killed in a bloody attack he wakes up in the body of a coma patient.

The story follows Bobby Zha's efforts to establish what happened, who murdered him and most importantly why his murder has so quickly been forgotten and that all of his former colleagues now believe he was crooked. What unfolds is a story of fact gathering as he slowly pieces together the details of his murder and the events surrounding it, culminating in an energetic ending where all of the pieces of the puzzle finally come together.

As has been mentioned by another reviewer, I could not put the book down and have read it cover to cover in the space of a week. The writing style is very accessible and not to heavy, something that can always be a risk when mixing fantasy with crime. However I have not given 9Tail Fox the coveted five stars as I felt that the ending was rather too rapid to give the story its due.
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4 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another stunner from Grimwood 13 Jun 2006
Quite simply, Jon Courtenay Grimwood is the slickest writers to emerge in recent years. 9tail Fox serves only to demonstrate his continued growth as an author of gripping, exotic novels that are as accessible as they are deep. Great stuff.
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