Sharkey is a Viennese newspaper columnist who finds himself spending time with a drunken computer nerd. When his acquaintance dies in mysterious circumstances, he is contacted by the surprisingly glamorous widow, convinced he has been passed vital information. This sets Sharkey on a terrifying and complex search through the cyber highways for an equation which turns out to be a very dangerous secret for those who know it.
The writer who took out the patent on the cyberpunk novel was, of course, William Gibson. His nightmarish vision of the future has proved a literary gold mine for many of his followers. Matthews' book, however, is something noticeably different. Although it could certainly be called science fiction (it is, after all, set in the year at 2026), Matthews clearly has a more literary model in mind. And although his compulsive narrative has many thriller trappings, the use of language is both exciting and innovative.
As a guide to the dark and violent world of nationalism and racial tension, Matthews is always sure-footed (even if he is not always able to shake off the over-familiarity of his material). Readers of literary novels (or, for that matter, readers of straight thrillers) should not be frightened away by the science fiction elements here. This is a piece which has plenty to offer all kinds of readers. --Barry Forshaw
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.