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.
©2012 Peter F. Hamilton (P)2013 Tantor
"It's a perfect introduction to his gifts for character design, dialogue, and sheer, big-idea-driven storytelling." (Booklist)
Superbly written and performed. Memorable, well developed characters. Toby Longworth is a top notch narrator giving each character their own distinct voice and accent. He flows from British to Cockney to American accents effortlessly. Well done, very well done!
Just get it! This one will stay with you!!
I was surprised that I just could not get into this one. I usually like Peter F Hamilton's books, such as Pandora's Star and the Void series. I started this book three times and had to quit.
The narrator was fine but the story did not grab my interest. Maybe there were just too many clones. The police in the story couldn't tell them apart and neither could I.
YMMV. Mr Hamilton is a good writer, but even a good one can't please all the people all the time. I look forward to trying some of his other books in the future.
Yes yes yes and no no no... Ah! I wish I had some friends that would like Mr. Hamilton's books as much as I do. But alas... I especially like the way he weaves the past history of Angela into the present. As her past unfolds I understand more about her motivations. But really, that style of writing is a way to use mystery to pull the reader along and then dole out the answers to the mystery bit by bit. The book intersperses the action perfectly. I did not want to put the book down once before it was finished.
I have listened to a lot of audio books and Toby Longworth has got to be, hands down, the best voice actor ever. His dramatization is just perfect. He can do a little girl or a tough guy believably.
The ride of your life!
Yeah, make a movie!
I have given this as a gift to my friends and have recommended it to strangers I've met. Yes it is that good.
Asimov's writing is the closest. But this is a fascinating history/ mystery. Love all the political angles - I love a fascinating mind- twisty turny is my favorite.
Too many for a single scene. You forget this is a "story" and start rooting for the poor slobs going through this.
sometimes nature is a bitch- think twice about messing with her
This is the first book by Peter F Hamilton I read. I admit it I am hooked. I immediately started reading the rest of his brilliant stories. His stories have the ring of truth to them and I'm waiting with bated breath for the next one.
Peter F. Hamilton has for years provided some of my most memorable and enjoyable reading experiences (here, I would highlight Pandora's Star and Judas Unchained as the best) by virtue of his Commonwealth Universe first and foremost, but also the Confederation Universe.
In this stand-alone book, as opposed to his normal multi-book series, Hamilton provides a captivating enough story--the characters are for the most part interesting and the plot has both predictable and surprising twists, but one is left feeling that the universe could and should be better developed. The kinds of stories Hamilton does best simply need more space. Furthermore, I'm just not a big fan of his "earth-centric" books. Vast space operas offer greater breadth and detail. This felt almost mundane by comparison, and not for lack of shock factor.
This is a good read, and should be read, but I would place it below any unread Commonwealth or Confederation books on my list.
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