*I received a free copy of this book, with thanks to the author. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: New Hopeland was built to be the centre of the technological age, but like everywhere else, it has its dark side. Assassins, drug dealers and crooked businessmen form a vital part of the city’s make-up, and sometimes, the police are in too deep themselves to be effective. But hey, there are always other options …
For P.I. Cassie Tam, business has been slow. So, when she’s hired to investigate the death of a local VR addict named Eddie Redwood, she thinks it’ll be easy money. All she has to do is prove to the deceased’s sister Lori that the local P.D. were right to call it an accidental overdose. The more she digs though, the more things don’t seem to sit right, and soon, Cassie finds herself knee deep in a murder investigation. But that’s just the start of her problems.
When the case forces Cassie to make contact with her drug dealing ex-girlfriend, Charlie Goldman, she’s left with a whole lot of long buried personal issues to deal with. Then there’s her client. Lori Redwood is a Tech Shifter, someone who uses a metal exoskeleton to roleplay as an animal. Cassie isn’t one to judge, but the Tech Shifting community has always left her a bit nervous. That wouldn’t be a problem if Lori wasn’t fast becoming the first person that she’s been genuinely attracted to since splitting with Charlie. Oh, and then there’s the small matter of the police wanting her to back off the case.
Easy money, huh? Yeah, right.
Addict is right up my street, crossing two of my favourite genres: sci-fi and mystery, with a flavour of urban fantasy style that reminded of Jim Butcher and Kim Harrison if they were crossed with Sue Grafton and Tony Bertauski.
The detective plot is tight and well-paced, with an interesting range of suspects and motives, and the futuristic technology is seeded nicely throughout the action in order to give just enough detail without slowing things down.
The central character, Cassie Tam, is a PI who uses a mixture of the available tech (such as her robotic gargoyle security-pet Bert) and old-school policing methods (knocking on doors and asking the questions). Her personal life and history are fed in, again, throughout the plot, with just enough to be intriguing and promising without distracting too much from the main storyline.
I love the whole idea of Tech Shifters of various kinds, and Virtual Reality Junkies (Pro and Addict). In fact the whole setup of the society Matt Doyle has created here has me hooked and I am excited to follow Cassie further and find out more about the corrupt hierarchy she is forced to work within and around, and what more can be done with the AI technological advances.
This is definitely one for my personal wishlist and I would recommend it to anyone who likes urban fantasy but with a sci-fi focus and murder-mystery plot (me, me and me!).
For legal purposes, I’m registered as a private investigator. The law of the land means that’s enough to get me certain dispensations for my work, providing I follow procedure and fill out reams of digital paperwork before I go doing anything stupid. Sometimes, I don’t bother.
– Matt Doyle, Addict
Addict is out on Amazon right now!