on 2 November 2011
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.