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Great North Road [Hardcover]

Peter F. Hamilton
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (320 customer reviews)
RRP: 20.00
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Book Description

27 Sep 2012

In Newcastle-upon-Tyne, AD 2142, Detective Sidney Hurst attends a brutal murder scene. The victim is one of the wealthy North family clones – but none have been reported missing. And the crime’s most disturbing aspect is how the victim was killed. Twenty years ago, a North clone billionaire and his household were horrifically murdered in exactly the same manner, on the tropical planet of St Libra. But if the murderer is still at large, was Angela Tramelo wrongly convicted? Tough and confident, she never wavered under interrogation – claiming she alone survived an alien attack. But there is no animal life on St Libra.

Investigating this alien threat becomes the Human Defence Agency’s top priority. The bio-fuel flowing from St Libra is the lifeblood of Earth’s economy and must be secured. So a vast expedition is mounted via the Newcastle gateway, and teams of engineers, support personnel and xenobiologists are dispatched to the planet. Along with their technical advisor, grudgingly released from prison, Angela Tramelo. But the expedition is cut off, deep within St Libra’s rainforests. Then the murders begin. Someone or something is picking off the team one by one. Angela insists it’s the alien, but her new colleagues aren’t so sure. Maybe she did see an alien, or maybe she has other reasons for being on St Libra ...

In this stunning, standalone adventure, Peter F. Hamilton blends fast-paced narrative with vividly imagined future-worlds.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 1104 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan (27 Sep 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230750052
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230750050
  • Product Dimensions: 23.8 x 16 x 7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (320 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 138,047 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Peter F. Hamilton was born in Rutland in 1960, and still lives near Rutland Water with his family. He began writing in 1987, and sold his first short story to Fear magazine in 1988. He has also been published in Interzone and the In Dreams and New Worlds anthologies, and several small-press publications. His work includes the Greg Mandel series, the Night's Dawn trilogy - which established him as Britain's bestselling writer of science fiction - and his critically acclaimed Void novels: The Dreaming Void, The Temporal Void and The Evolutionary Void. His novels and his handbook (a vital guide to the Night's Dawn trilogy) have sold almost two million copies worldwide.

Product Description


Praise for Peter F. Hamilton's

"The Evolutionary Void"

"Satisfying and powerful . . . Space Opera doesn't get much more epic."--SFFWorld

"Spiced with plenty of action and intrigue."--"San Jose Mercury News"

"The Temporal Void"

"Fusing elements of hard SF with adventure fantasy tropes, Hamilton has singlehandedly raised the bar for grand-scale speculative storytelling."--"Publishers Weekly"
" "
"A great, sprawling, ripping yarn reminiscent of Golden Age Science Fiction."--SFCrowsnest

"The Dreaming Void"

"A real spellbinder from a master storyteller . . . dozens of scenarios, a surprisingly well-delineated cast of thousands, plotting enough to delight the most Machiavellian of readers."--"Kirkus Reviews "(starred review)

"Peter F. Hamilton [is the] owner of the most powerful imagination in science fiction, author of immense, complex far-future sagas."--Ken Follett, author of "World Without End" --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Peter F. Hamilton was born in Rutland in 1960 and still lives nearby. He began writing in 1987, and sold his first short story to Fear magazine in 1988. He has written many bestselling novels, including the Greg Mandel series, the Night’s Dawn trilogy, the Commonwealth Saga, the Void trilogy, two short story collections and several standalone novels.

Find out more about Peter F. Hamilton at , or discover more Pan Macmillan and Tor UK books at

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb sci-fi 6 Oct 2012
By Me
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If "Game of Thrones" can be turned into a TV series then I think Peter Hamilton's latest novel should be turned into a show too. The Great Road North is an excellent story: imaginative, clever, and well paced; it blends sci-fi with crime, horror, doomed romance, and a bit of political/action thriller. I had been looking forward to this book since reading the plot summary several months ago and I was not disappointed. To me, a long-time fan, it seemed like he had gone through all his previous novels, cherry picked the best elements and weaved them all together.

Talking of weaving, one of the most enjoyable and challenging things about Hamilton is tying his story threads back together using the limited (but very deliberate) clues he writes in before the plot is revealed. I got a fair few, but some of them eluded me until about page 930... It's always fun trying to guess, but I don't think I'll ever be able to call him predictable.

Another thing I really enjoyed was the way he wrote against a believable background, speculating on where modern science and technology might take us and describing how people will live in the near future; think Michio Kaku but with verve, humour, and a lot of very British style. Of course with sci-fi it has to go a little bit further and we have seemingly implacable aliens, spaceships and strange planets. However, unlike the Void trilogy, it doesn't stray into fantasy; believability makes this story more accessible.

Of course Hamilton already has a great reputation for his story-telling skills, but I think that with Great North Road he has improved his writing style. Recent novels have had a large cast of characters, which often led to uneven coverage.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic 12 Oct 2012
By reader 451 TOP 1000 REVIEWER
For a novel that combines thriller and science-fiction tale in one, read Hamilton's The Great North Road. Blending a detective story based in Newcastle and a wild alien chase across the twenty-second century planetary colony of St Libra, it is an anxiety-packed page-turner. I found this novel more compact and coherent, indeed, than the absorbing but sometimes sprawling Void trilogy. Even at 1,000+ pages, this doorstopper does not waste a line. At the same time, it (almost) achieves the imaginative range that makes earlier Hamilton books such good reading.

Space colonisation has begun: not by spaceship, but through teleportation gateways. St Libra is one of the new worlds, mined for a bio-fuel it would cost too much to produce on Earth. And atop the highly lucrative trade sits Northumbrian Interstellar and the North family, a multi-generation crowd of over two hundred clones. But a North has been murdered in the streets of Newcastle. The circumstances, moreover, recall a mass-killing that occurred twenty years before on St Libra, and in which the main suspect, Angela Tramelo, blamed an unlikely humanoid alien. Angela is promptly freed, but this is only to pack her off on a massive scientific and military mission to comb the vast and unforgiving St Libra jungle for the predator. Meanwhile, humanity is, on its new worlds, under assault from the un-definable Zanth, stellar-scale swarms that are neither animal nor mineral, nor perhaps even composed of ordinary matter, yet sweep whole worlds before them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Epic SF 5 Jan 2014
This is a monumental book in lots of ways, not just its length (1087 pages) or its size (slightly larger than a house brick), but also in the story that he writes here.

It starts with a murder, and the body that is fished out of the river is a North, a family of genetic clones, and this corpse has had all the identity markers removed. There are five puncture marks on the chest, and the heart has been shredded. The last people to die this way did so 20 years ago, on the colony of St Libra, and the woman who was tried for the murders is still in prison. So begins the most sensitive, and politically charged investigation of Sidney Hurst's career.

With the new murder, the HDA decide that they need to go back to St Libra and fully investigate the claim by Angela that the murders were committed by an alien. She is pulled from prison and sent through the gateway, essentially a wormhole, with a crack team of legionnaires and back to St Libra to find this entity.

And so starts this epic story. It flips between Newcastle, and St Libra and you follow the ebb and flow of the characters in their successes and failures. The people on St Libra start to conclude that the plant they are on is a bioformed planet, and the alien is there as a guardian. St Libra`s sun suddenly red shifts, sending the planet into a mini ice age, and the alien starts to eliminate the legionnaires in the group. Meanwhile back on earth the investigation into the murder has become a lot more complex and charged, and it starts to look like the fall out between two corporations, and the police are playing catch up.

Apart from the fact that this is enormous, and took even me a while to read, I really enjoyed it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad but not great
I have never written a review before so i apologise now but I hope it helps, beware there may be a spoiler . Read more
Published 11 days ago by christopher smith
5.0 out of 5 stars a mammoth read, but massively rewarding
Once again, Mr Hamilton nudges, foreshadows and guides readers through a complex plot with just the right balance between working things out and being surprised. Read more
Published 23 days ago by Andy Shaw
1.0 out of 5 stars Unimpressed
Sorry Peter - got to page 900 in the hardback edition - didn't care anymore.... How does it actually end???
Published 23 days ago by Roidus
4.0 out of 5 stars Space opera as it should be written
Having just finished Great North Road and re-reading the classic Lensman series at the same time my feelings are much the same. Read more
Published 24 days ago by Philip Danzelman
5.0 out of 5 stars "Geordies in Space, why aye man"
Quite a triumph. Geeordies, hahd-boyiled detectives, muerdah raiyn and fog on thu Tiyne, ye kna, and, eh, spaceships, aliens, and interstellar travel an tha'. Read more
Published 27 days ago by Alastair Blakey
4.0 out of 5 stars Realistic sci-fi
This book should probably have been split up into a series (the paper-back version is more than 1000 pages long), but as a companion for a long-haul flight it was most... Read more
Published 27 days ago by Gilman Grundy
5.0 out of 5 stars Peter F. Hamilton at his best
I've enjoyed all of Peter F. Hamilton's books I have read so far. This one doesn't disappoint. The action is perhaps a little slower, but I'm still only about one third of the... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Alan Bell
5.0 out of 5 stars Review
Another awesome book from the best science fiction writer out there. This stand alone book is great and well worth reading. Read more
Published 1 month ago by onedeviant
5.0 out of 5 stars Great North Road – An Epic Story, A Science Fiction Mystery Thriller
I’m a fan of Peter F. Hamilton. His books are always detailed, multi-layered and well thought out. Great North Road is over 1000 pages of good reading. Read more
Published 1 month ago by decco999
1.0 out of 5 stars 10 dry weetabix
I've read all Peter F. Hamilton's books, which includes the Night's Dawn trilogy, which is the ONLY book(s) I have ever read twice! Read more
Published 1 month ago by M R Gammon
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