Dr Edward Kitchener, a brilliant researcher into quantum cosmology, lies dead with his lungs spread out on either side of his open chest. Only a mercenary or professional killer could have breached the premier-grade security system - but why would a professional waste time in ritual slaughter?
Greg Mandel, psi-boosted ex-private eye, is enticed out of retirement to launch an investigation into a past which - according to Kitchener’s theories - might never have happened.
©2011 Peter Hamilton (P)2011 Audible Ltd
A Quantum Murder is the 2nd book in Greg Mandel trilogy. Although, this is a standalone story, all the relevant characters from Book 1, Mindstar Rising, are back, so the background is useful. The story occurs about 2 years after the 1st with the same general conditions in place. This time around, Greg is dragged into a murder investigation of a prominent physicist who was doing work for Event Horizon. In spite of appearing to crack the case, his intuition suggests something is amiss and he pursues justice with a Mandel doggedness.
Hamilton introduces some bizarre physics dealing with apparent time travel without the typical causality paradox. In addition, he explores the world of designer synthetic chemistry (probably around the time that ecstasy was becoming popular in England) and the biology of memory. Surprisingly (for Peter Hamilton). the sci-fi components are not only underwhelming, but nearly fade into the background as the mystery deepens. At its heart though, this is an engaging and erudite who-dun-it. The only slight detriment is the "Night of the Living Dead" scene close to the end which was just a bit over the top..
A trivial man
I didn't do my research when I selected this book. I thought it was a new Peter Hamilton and jumped into it right away. It didn't take long for the dated buzz words and clumsy writing to convince me this must be an ancient book. A little research and yes, this book is more than 15 years old.
Peter F. Hamilton has certainly grown as a writer. But knowing the proper frame of reference for this work I able was to sit back and enjoy this young work. If you listen real close you'll be able to hear the beginnings of characters, situations, and technologies that would be showcased in the Commonwealth Sagas and in the Void books.
I downloaded this book on the day Audible made it available and there were a few technical issues with the recording (especially, part 2 of the download). Audible may find these and fix these but if they don't you'll be able to hear the narrator turn pages and hear the narrator mock the writing (don't remember the exact quote but the narrator disapproved of the author's describing a character's hair as "manes"). Unfortunate, as the reading by the narrator was excellent - he did a great jump picking "voices" that match the persona the writer had wanted each character to project.
If one has not read volume one in the trilogy, I think A Quantum Murder may strike some readers as pretty far out. The geopolitical background in the first novel is essential for suspension of belief in the second.
I am 71 and have been reading Sci Fi and fantasy since Heinlein in the 50s. Nothing is going to turn me off of speculative fiction.
There is a third novel in the series. I hope it is better than the second. It is my next walking read.
Once again, Toby Longworth delivers.
Peter F. Hamilton always does a fantastic job of weaving an intricate story line. The futuristic settings are believable, and the characters behave in logical ways. He doesn't have to force the story line along, it just flows naturally.
The opening sequence. The imagery is vivid without being over the top, it makes you feel like you're actually there, seeing the torrential downpour of rain. Waking to screams. It hooks you and pulls you in.
Greg Mandel. Toby has the perfect voice for the gruff former Mindstar operative.
It was. Fortunately I was on a long road trip, so I was able to get through it in two day.s
While there were a few minor issues for me, overall I liked this book and I think anyone who enjoyed the first one will like this one, and may even enjoy the slower pace. I like sci-fi and I like who-dun-it stories, and this was a good meld of both genres. It's more of a classic detective story than the first book as well. The characters had individual quirks, were easily distinguished from each other, so no getting them mixed up. There were links back to the first book - although things are explained so you don't actually have to have read/listened to the first book. I was quite sorry when it was over and it was good enough for me to want to listen to the next book in the series.
The reader is brilliant, the characters are brought to life with his vocalisations.
The story pace is slower than the first Greg Mandel book, but it suits the story. There are no wasted scenes (except the end - more on that below) and while some might figure out the villain ahead of time, I did not, which was great for me - I don't like working it out before the protagonist. There are a couple of actions scenes in the last half of the book, including a strange one at the end, which seemed to be thrown in to cater to a more action orientated audience. I didn't think it needed it to be honest, and there were at least two parts to it that made no sense to me and one of them had Greg acting unusually, acting against his nature and not in a good way. It seemed that while most of the book had a "British" detective style, the end scene was definitely "American" detective style (not intended as a slight, only as a style comparison).
The editing isn't great. There are pauses where there shouldn't be, so where you think there is going to be a scene change or new chapter turns out to be a continuation of the last scene, and at about the 1:16 mark in the second segment the reader asks incredulously what a "mains" (or "manes"?) is which obviously should have been edited out.
Say something about yourself!
The intriguing characters from the first novel (hormone-augmented Greg Mandel with his psi abilities, Julia Evans with her machine-augmented links to alternate personality cores) return to solve a very bizarre murder mystery with world-changing implications. Hamilton plays a bit fast and loose with the quantum mechanics hinted at in the title, but the story is so well told that it is easy to suspend disbelief. It's certainly a must read in order to get to the final novel in the trilogy.
Great twist at end! Great foundation for Peter's other books.
The ending twist!
Love listening to Toby Longworth read.
Unexpected twists in the story line.
Yes. He did great
Kept me on the edge of my seat
Thanks Audible for your continued support of "This Week in Tech" over at TWiT.tv
The first book was an introduction to what Greg can do and the story was pretty good also, this time hes back helping Julia Evans again and some of his friends are back.
This time he is investigating a murder that's Quantum in nature if that makes sense at all, it appears as if the murder was done in the same manner as a famous killer that's been locked up for a while so he couldn't do it, right? - that's where it gets strange and there is no was you will guess what the outcome is, I was guessing all the time at what happened and was wrong most all of the time, what happens is pretty strange.
This is another product of the early 90's as it has some of the theories that were going around then and made them into facts possibly even correctly in some cases - there are parts about global warming with melting ice caps and a housing market crash which lately is sounding more real compared to the melting ice caps.
with that being said its not "dated" as some older Sci-Fi is from the same era other than some names of companies that either don't exist or haven't merged like the names in the book suggest but its all good since the movie 2001 A Space Odyssey has a Pan Am jet in it but they went out years ago it doesn't bother me much
Nothing is wrong with these books its just not up to what I like about the later books by this author, Audible.com doesn't have the next trilogy he wrote "The Nights Dawn - Trilogy" but its really good and Pandora's Star and Judas Unchained which Audible.com does have are simply amazing.
If you liked the first book and want to see Greg, Julia, and friends tackle something else then this for you, as well as the next one
"Best of the Series"
This is an excellent series and this one was my personal favourite out of the three. It is a little slower paced and is as much a mystery story as a sci-fi one. There is plenty of science in there including the science of designer drugs and some aspects of time travel. The time travel element is done in an intriguing way as it avoids many of the cliched paradoxes with the subject.
This book could be read as a stand-alone story but would be more satisfying as part of the series due to the additional background and character history.
The narration remains entirely suited to both the genre and the characters.
"A Quantum Murder"
Another great story by Peter Hamilton. You don't REALLY need to have read the first of the series, but it definitely helps you relate to the characters, as they all (more or less) come back again in some part. Wasn't as good as the first I believe, the ending was a little abrupt but still brilliant. A bit of a "whodunnit" with some good sci-fi twists. A great read/listen and Toby Longworth reprises the excellent voice acting from the first book. this trilogy is a must have for Sci-Fi enthusiasts
"A different Hamilton"
These books are good! However he does tend to rush things towards the end almost as if Peter got bored and was not quite sure how to finish. Either that or they were part of a much longer series, but the editors chopped it into just three books
A brilliant continuation of the series. Characters are very engaging and the narrator does well to give them life and appeal. The near future world is superbly realised with a wonderful depth of description. Some minor editing errors which mark down the performance to four star.
"A thoughly enjoyable sci-fi"
Brilliantly delivered murder mystery, set in a very believable near future. This is excellently read by Toby Longworth
"Intriguing murder mystery"
A great story with characters that are fully fleshed and interesting. The story has a really nice twist as well.
Finding out whodunnit?
Yes. I can find his voice somewhat irritating but overall a good performance.
Yes but don't want to give away the story!
Good old new fashioned murder mystery that really is a who dunnit.
"Great idea, shame about the execution."
Try a 10 year old. It might get them interested in writing better science fiction. And Julia might just possibly appeal.
This is the second book about a man whose artificially implanted psychic powers enhances his detective abilities, if only by being able to know if he is being told truth or lies. I had not read the first in this short series and an earlier reviewer warned that Mr.Hamilton did not reprise characterisation here. Perhaps this is the reason I found almost all of the personae flat and unbelievable. I was unable to relate to any of them in a sympathetic way.
Mr.Longworth's reading was adequate, which, given the material with which he had to work, seems about as good as it could get - flat, like the characters themselves
I would cut Julia, the 19 year old owner and mouthpiece of a multi billion technical empire, to a mere cipher in the background. She, of all the characters, was the most unbelievable and the constant harping on about her silly love life and childish wants almost stopped me from bothering to finish listening to the book. Yet despite the air time devoted to her, she still remained a vacuous two dimensional airhead.
The story itself has great potential and I was really intrigued by the possibilities opened up when the only person who could have murdered the victim was truthfully stating that he had not done it. But the simply written text, poor dialogue and lack of characterisations, all of which contrasted severely with the final tricky quantum explanation and rushed ending, made this, for me, a lightweight book not worth the listening
Maybe the best one, its hard to order the top books but this is up there with the best.
Has to be the star of the show, Mr Greg Mandel. The depth of his character that Mr Hamilton brings to the books is very compelling.
What is not to like?! Read almost any review of Toby Longworths' performance in any of the books he has read and you will find overwhelming praise. It is how all books should be read.
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