O.k. - let's try and set the scene a bit here. In Edinburgh, years after the end of the Faith/Oil Wars and the Second Enlightenment. Someone sets off a bomb that kills a priest. Enter Detective Inspector Ferguson.
So - is it sci-fi or is it a 'whodunit'? Well, it's both, of course. But the sci-fi ideas in this book just keep building up and up. The soldiers went to the wars with their battle mechs. Some of these battle mechs became self-aware. After the war, these K.I.s (Kinetic Intelligences) find roles in society, as police, as space workers and so on. Also, along with K.I.s', there are A.I.s and a police computer commonly referred to as Paranoia.
Add to all this the remnants of Dominionists, Dispensationalists, Covenantists and other religious extremists, plus a wild and high-tech club scene, space elevators, a totally mobile and integrated web, sharp dialogue, a very well written narrative that just keeps steaming along and you've got a wonderful book.
Ken Macleod's last book The Execution Channel
was good, but this is better; this is back to the complexities, the extrapolations of current events, the chaotic realism of The Star Fraction
and is all the better for it. Thank-you Mr Macleod!