This book SHOULD HAVE BEEN PERFECT for me. I'm a spam and phishing researcher who works in a criminal justice program at a university where we study cybercrime, the social media of criminals and terrorists, and more recently bot-driven weaponized speech that influence elections and other topics. The idea of a high-tech police novel where a serial killer seems to be killing spammers made me gleeful! And seeing the potential future of technology-driven policing through the brilliant mind of Charles Stross should have been perfect.
But, as I said about the original Halting State book, the execution of this novel seems to be an experiment in point-of-view where Stross seems intent on making the novels impossible to read. I forced myself to finish this over the holiday break, and was glad from a story point of view, to see how everything turned out. The narrative point of view shifts between a handful of primary characters, each told in the second point perspective. "You get out of bed. You check your specs for new messages." "You walk into the pub." Perhaps this narrative perspective is under-utilized because READERS HATE IT! Stross is one of my favorite authors, but this book took me months to read because after every few pages I threw it down asking WHY WOULD AN AUTHOR DO THIS TO THEIR READERS?