Machines of Easy Virtue by Jack Price
(review)

This is a classic hard-boiled detective novel, set in a dystopian future where everyone’s on drugs and rich kids can get designer genes. Yeah, those kind of genes. Robots have taken all the jobs and most people, including the protagonist, is scraping to make ends meet. But then in walks this dame …

I liked the hero by the time the ending rolled around, even though he’s on drugs and not above sleeping with his client. There are a few very clever lines and an interesting twist about two thirds through that I didn’t see coming.

The book for me has some issues, though. Most of the ending came out of left field, the sex scenes left me thinking the main character (and his client) were robots too, and a few plot points (like his cell phone conveniently working/not working when needed to drive the plot) made me not like this as well as I wanted to. A few details near the beginning (like, for example, that cryo-chambers are commonplace in this world) would have made the book flow more smoothly for me.

If you’re a Dashiell Hammett or Raymond Chandler fan (which actually, I’m not), you’ll probably like this quite a bit. I liked the main character well enough, though, that I want to read the next installment, just to see what trouble he gets into next.

I received a free copy from the author. You can pick up a copy here.

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