Great North Road
Peter F. Hamilton
Pub Date Dec 26 2012
New York Times bestselling author Peter F. Hamilton’s riveting new thriller combines the nail-biting suspense of a serial-killer investigation with clear-eyed scientific and social extrapolation to create a future that seems not merely plausible but inevitable.
A century from now, thanks to a technology allowing instantaneous travel across light-years, humanity has solved its energy shortages, cleaned up the environment, and created far-flung colony worlds. The keys to this empire belong to the powerful North family-composed of successive generations of clones. Yet these clones are not identical. For one thing, genetic errors have crept in with each generation. For another, the original three clone “brothers” have gone their separate ways, and the branches of the family are now friendly rivals more than allies.
Or maybe not so friendly. At least that’s what the murder of a North clone in the English city of Newcastle suggests to Detective Sidney Hurst. Sid is a solid investigator who’d like nothing better than to hand off this hot potato of a case. The way he figures it, whether he solves the crime or not, he’ll make enough enemies to ruin his career.
Yet Sid’s case is about to take an unexpected turn: because the circumstances of the murder bear an uncanny resemblance to a killing that took place years ago on the planet St. Libra, where a North clone and his entire household were slaughtered in cold blood. The convicted slayer, Angela Tramelo, has always claimed her innocence. And now it seems she may have been right. Because only the St. Libra killer could have committed the Newcastle crime.
Problem is, Angela also claims that the murderer was an alien monster.
Now Sid must navigate through a Byzantine minefield of competing interests within the police department and the world’s political and economic elite . . . all the while hunting down a brutal killer poised to strike again. And on St. Libra, Angela, newly released from prison, joins a mission to hunt down the elusive alien, only to learn that the line between hunter and hunted is a thin one.
Peter F. Hamilton is the author of numerous novels, including The Dreaming Void,Fallen Dragon, Judas Unchained, Pandora’s Star, and the acclaimed epic Night’s Dawn trilogy (The Reality Dysfunction, The Neutronium Alchemist, and The Naked God). He lives with his family in England.
I need to start this review with WOW, this is a big, bloody book. Peter F Hamilton is not known is writing short stories. Having a look at his writing and you will quickly realise he writes tomes. I have read his tomes and have thoroughly enjoyed them (except for the slight case of deus ex machina in one of them).
Even so, this book felt overly long. I was prepared for it, but still it was a bit much. This is a detective novel wrapped in a science fiction wrapper and on the whole is good, but not brilliant like some of his previous works.
There are parts of Great North Road that show the brilliance I expect from Peter, but it was sustained.
It’s a good read, but not his best. A great place to read Peter for the first time, as you will like his style and go back to his really great stuff. As a single book on my kindle, this is probably the biggest one I have read through. Interesting science, dodgy accents and lots of ‘crap on it’ but, if you read it and enjoy it, you will let these niggles wash over you and just enjoy.
4 coppers out of 5