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Ex-Kop [Mass Market Paperback]

Warren Hammond
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Price: 4.69 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

4 April 2010
In this hardboiled science fiction thriller, Juno, having been booted off the police force, is barely getting by as a low-level bagman and photographer for the scandal rags. But it gets worse: his wife is in critical condition at the hospital and Juno doesn't have the money to pay her bills. Desperate for cash, Juno agrees to help his ex-partner, Maggie Orzo, solve a difficult case. A young girl sits on death row, accused of brutally murdering her own parents. She's confessed to the murders, but Maggie isn't buying it, so she sends Juno out to get some answers. Working with Maggie, Juno comes into contact with her new partner, Ian. As dirty as they come, Ian is eager to rise in the police force no matter what the cost. Somehow Ian, a vicious serial killer, and the girl on death row are all connected. It is up to Juno and Maggie to find out how before more people die.

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; Reprint edition (4 April 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765351374
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765351371
  • Product Dimensions: 2.1 x 10.7 x 17.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,043,787 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"* "This hard bitten follow up to Hammond's 2007 science fiction noir debut KOP, set in the 28th century on the technologically backward world of Largarto, offers further evidence of his considerable talents...Koba is touch town full of desperate people, and Hammond makes full use of this richly imagined society." Publishers Weekly, starred review" --Publishers Weekly

About the Author

WARREN HAMMOND lives in Denver, Colorado. "Ex-KOP" is his second novel.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Just as gritty and good as the first one 2 Nov 2011
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The scenario in this and the preceding novel in the series is a burnt out ex detective on a backward and abused colony planet where being economically cut off from the mainstream of human development has left the people poor, desperate, fatalistic, angry and above all vicious in their quest to survive the daily tribulations of life on a planet that is very much what Venus would be like if it had some water and an earth normal atmosphere. There isn't much high tech in these stories, and what there is, is usually used against the characters by the story's equivalent of modern rich, first-world tourists looking for a bit of dirty fun at the cost of the natives. The story takes a bleak view of human morality, but you can easily imagine such a setting on modern day earth.

Throw in the story's old hack detective and his quest to save an innocent person from being brutally executed and you have one hell of a novel.

In my opinion, Warren Hammond does the SF noir genre better than just about any other writer I've come across. In this and the previous novel, when he describes the heat of the location, you can feel the sweat on your own forehead. When he lets a character die in a pain and suffering (he doesn't take the easy route to a feel good ending in either novel), you can see the blood and scum in your mind's eye.

Be warned though, that this novel is not for the squeamish.

Excellent. 5 Stars for both and I can't wait for the next one.
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Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping Story with Compelling Characters 1 Oct 2008
By Book Lover - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As a reader of Hammond's first novel, KOP, I pre-ordered Ex-KOP and read it in two days. I loved it!

There are so many themes that Hammond plays with here: an aging detective (Juno) who fights the good fight when he can but has made more than his share of bad choices, a younger and more idealistic detective (Maggie) who still believes that Juno has "the right stuff" in him, and a world beset by poverty and crime.

But at the heart of this story, as with KOP, in my view, is the relationship between Juno and Maggie. The book begins with the descent of Juno, and while Maggie may have no other choice than to turn to him, you could look at her attempts as giving him an opportunity to redeem himself.

Hammond's writing is raw and unadorned, and he is much heavier on psychological insight than on flowery passages. People comment frequently on the "noir" aspect of his writing, but I see hope glimmering through as well. I am eager to see where he takes these characters.

A great book!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strong mix of hard-boiled mystery with dark SF 11 Sep 2009
By booksforabuck - Published on Amazon.com
Juno Mozambe was a corrupt cop. Now that the ex-chief of police is dead, Juno is out of his job as chief enforcer and trying to make a living with blackmail, private detecting, and anything that will pay the bills. Juno has a lot of bills...mostly starting with the cloned spine he's having grown for his wife. So, when the one honest cop on the force asks for his help, Juno sees a chance to make some money. He doesn't want to lie to her, but Maggie has plenty of money.

Maggie Orzo wants to solve the mysterious case of the mysterious serial killer, even though Juno promises there's no future in pursuing off-worlders. Residents of Lagarta do well not to mess with the off-worlders. Lagarta was poor, a backwater whose fate was made worse by its one-time wealth. But when Maggie's partner busts every finger on Juno's right hand and then threatens his wife, Juno has no choice but to escalate the matter. If Ian wants Juno to back off, Juno intends to do the opposite.

Author Warren Hammond creates a compelling noir world of constant rain, bugs, tent cities, and incredible technology that's simply out of reach for even affluent members of Largarta society. Juno, conflicted between his one-time goals, his need to keep his wife alive despite her wishes, and the evil things he's done along the way, makes for an intriguing and sympathetic character. We know from the start that there can be no total victories on Lagarta, and wonder whether even an incomplete victory is possible in the face of the opposition Juno and Maggie face.

The combination of hard-boiled detective fiction with Science Fiction is an increasingly popular sub-genre, and EX-KOP is an example of how well this can work. Certainly the parallels between Lagarta and third world countries in today's world are obvious. In a couple of places, however, it seemed to me that Hammond took shortcuts. Getting Ian to pay for the decryption Juno needed was clever, but I couldn't understand why Ian would want the files decrypted (or why he never asked for the plain text). I was also expecting a deeper explanation for Ian's transformation from a weak crybaby to the brutal man he became.

EX-KOP is strong science fiction. I'll definitely keep my eyes open for more by Hammond.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A strong sequel 12 Oct 2010
By TChris - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Juno and Maggie are back in another brisk, violent story of life on Lagarto. The plot is capably summarized by other reviewers on this site, so I will limit my comments accordingly. The noir atmosphere so masterfully created in KOP is just as effectively rendered in EX-KOP. Particularly strong is a subplot involving Juno's need for money to pay for a new spine for his wife who, hospitalized after a suicide attempt, has no desire to live. Juno wrestles with the moral and personal issues presented by his wife's desire to die, a dilemma that humanizes Juno, making him all the more appealing to the reader. That humanization is necessary given Juno's immediate disregard for the possible innocence of a convicted murderer, whose case Maggie hires him to investigate. Of course, Juno revises his opinion as the novel progresses, and Hammond does a fine job of letting suspense build as we wait to see whether the prisoner will be saved from execution.

The ending of this novel sets the scene for an anticipated third novel in this entertaining series. I look forward to reading it. If you like action and a sense of noir in your sf, you shouldn't miss the KOP books. I would give EX-KOP 4 1/2 stars if Amazon offered that option.
5.0 out of 5 stars A great sequel 14 Jun 2014
By Bryan Creel - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The character of Juno and his relationship with Maggie is really the centerpiece of these books. The sequel to KOP continues that trend and adds new trouble for them to wade through. Hammond is also doing a great job painting a palpable image of his setting and that realism helps us understand the motivations and actions of the characters. Definitely give this one a read after starting with KOP.
4.0 out of 5 stars Wickedly fun and incredibly addictive detective noir 29 Mar 2014
By Gamma Mouse - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Hard-boiled enforcer Juno Mozambe is back to crack some skulls and massage out some confessions in Warren Hammond’s latest novel, “Ex-KOP.” Although it’s a sequel to Hammond’s 2007 debut novel “KOP,” “Ex-KOP” possesses a self-contained storyline and reads like a standalone novel, serving as an excellent entry point into Hammond’s universe for new readers. Hammond is currently working on a third book in the KOP series.

Juno Mozambe has seen brighter days. Once the second-in-command (and chief enforcer) for the Koba Office of Police (KOP) before being forced out, Juno’s a beaten man, broken-down and starting to feel his age. He’s desperate for money, reduced to secretly filming off-worlder sexual liaisons in order to blackmail them. His wife Niki lies in a hospital bed, paralyzed after an accident, waiting for an orbital to grow her a new spine. But bioteching new spines ain’t cheap and Juno must hustle to make the vertebrae mortgage payments.

Juno soon gets a call from Maggie Orzo, an ambitious KOP detective looking to climb the organizational ladder. Not only is Maggie like a daughter to him, she’s offering a fair chunk of change for providing fresh eyes to the Juarez case. Adela Juarez is currently cooling her heels on death row for the murder of her parents, only days away from being gassed. Maggie believes the girl is innocent and that Adela’s confession was coerced by her partner, Ian Davies. Since Maggie can’t be caught narc-ing out her own partner, she’d like Juno to look into it.

“Ex-KOP” is a techno-thriller on steroids. Dark and emotionally disturbing, Hammond’s novel is noir for the pessimist. A trip down the rabbit hole into a morass of sexual perversions, each layer like some new salacious circle in Dante’s Hell. It’s violent, ruthless and gritty, a novel that swaggers bowlegged with machismo and flosses its teeth with femurs. Not since Warren Ellis’s “Crooked Little Vein” have I read a book this dark and twisted and deliciously fun.

The narrative is straightforward with very few surprises. Even without twists and turns the novel is addictively readable. I found myself not being able to put the book down, always wanting to read one more chapter. Though it advertises itself as science fiction, “Ex-KOP” is more detective-noir than SF. What science there is in the book is technologically-based and easily comprehensible since the world of Lagarto and its capital of Koba are a technological backwater.

Koba serves as an intriguing setting. Situated in an Amazonian-like jungle, the city frames—and in some places encroaches—upon the swelling Koba River. Residents must contend with an overabundance of lizards that seem to find their way into everything. Not surprisingly the weather is miserable, torrential rains making certain the residents never stay dry. While the Koba is not necessarily unique, I found it memorable. Dark, dreary and rainy are staples in noir fiction so Koba provided a perfect atmosphere for the story.

Juno is a wonderful multi-layered hero, emotionally conflicted and believably desperate. He’s a wounded animal, cornered and fighting for his life. He’s far from a saint, but he can be endearing at times despite appearances. He’s stubborn and loyal and wants to be a better man and good husband. Hammond does a tremendous job in giving Juno a living, breathing soul. The supporting characters unfortunately aren’t as lucky, more caricatures than believable people. Though Maggie receives a lot of face time in the book, we don’t learn much more about her other than the fact she’s ambitious. Characters play roles here, offering little insight into who they are, an aspect which is not uncommon in noir literature. The lack of characterization though doesn’t hinder the story, characters adequately play their roles, they just don’t add anything beyond that.

Despite its faults, I enjoyed “Ex-KOP.” It’s wickedly fun and incredibly addictive detective noir, like literary crack which will have you jones-ing for the next chapter. After finishing the book, I realized I was hooked. I immediately wanted to go out and grab “KOP” to experience more Juno Mozambe goodness. For fans of dark noir, you can’t go wrong here.
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