Spook Country is a science fiction spy thriller set in our times; 2006, to be exact. Hollis Henry is a former rock star, now a journalist, set to write a piece on locative art based on the use of GPS systems and other locative technology. This leads her to Bobby Chombo, a strange guy who knows the ins and outs of military navigation systems. Tito is a member of Chinese-Cuban crime family trained in Russian military martial arts and espionage ways, asked to deliver iPods to a certain old man. Milgrim, a drug addict fluent in Russian and able to translate Volapuk encoding, is being held captive by Brown, some sort of operator, perhaps with the government, perhaps not.
It's an interesting mess that sorts out itself eventually. Gibson mixes all sorts of cool concepts and crazy ideas and curious details together to form a rather gripping book. Old spies come out of the woodwork for one last round - the big idea they're working to achieve, that's something quite different and unusual. Gibson's writing is clear and beautiful; I really enjoy his style. With Neal Stephenson he's one of those writers who will tell you a great story and pepper it with all kinds of unnecessary details that'll get your brain tingling and curiosity running.
If you liked Pattern Recognition, his previous novel, you'll enjoy this (and you'll even meet few old friends, too!). Like Pattern Recognition, Spook Country is full enough of contemporary cultural references and trademarks to tie it firmly to our time and make it age in a rather charmful manner. While these trademarks serve less purpose than they did in Pattern Recognition, I believe this book is written to readers who care if the laptop used by the protagonist is a PowerBook or not.
Excellent book, one of the best I've read in a long while.