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Publisher's Summary

Humanity is in the eye of the beholder. But for street-smart detective Amber Payne, it's the eyes that aren't human. Cybernetic implants replaced the organics she lost in the line of duty, and their appearance often causes Amber to doubt her self-worth. Rookie detective Kevin Glass is her partner. And though he may be new, Kevin's unparalleled skill as an elite cyber-surfer makes him an invaluable asset. When Alta Corp contracts the two of them to solve a case of high stakes data theft, they will need every bit of skill, experience, and determination to succeed. For the more they investigate, the more it becomes evident that this case is much more than it appears, and its resolution may forever alter the world in which they live.

©2013 Jeff Brackett (P)2013 Jeff Brackett

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Futuristic police procedural

Brackett's Streets of Payne is a gritty and futuristic police / detective story. Detective Payne works for a contract law enforcement company along with her partner who is an ace hacker and investigates first some missing files and then a kidnapping in connection with company making computerized prosthetics. The overall mood is a cyberpunk / Bladerunner style.

The sci-fi element are mainly artificial body parts, monster AIs, and computer hacking. The pacing is excellent with a good flow of back and forth between real world action (high tech weaponry and armor) and cyberspace battles. Payne is continually being put back together and with a sequel could end up becoming a female robocop.

The narration is first rate with an excellent range of voices

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Johnny mnemonic and matrix all rolled together

Cyber enhancement, A.I.'s, mental jacks and more Lewis's
Out to some great sci-fi listening. Cool weapons, intrigue, action, all rolled into one great package. The author and. Aerator deliver a wonderful experience with a great set of characters. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • George
  • hopkinsville, KY, USA
  • 03-08-15

not sure where all the 5's came from

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

not sure... if you want a harlequin romance for detective stories set in the future, i suppose. and don't care about character development, or plot that reminds me of my high school creative writing class.

If you’ve listened to books by Jeff Brackett before, how does this one compare?

first book by mr brackett

Have you listened to any of Joy Nash’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

the narration was OK. There just wasn't any story to grab onto

What character would you cut from Streets of Payne?

not sure if cutting a character would help the book. I just did not care about any of them, or find them the least bit interesting.

Any additional comments?

I listened for about an hour and a half before changing to another book. I was forcing myself to listen, as maybe it would get better or I would somehow get used to the book. I switched to a John Scalzi book and it was like coming in from the desert to a cool drink of water.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Awesome cyberpunk mystery

Well, fuggle me blue! This book was everything it promised to be—and more. I was lucky enough to receive an audiobook version of Streets of Payne, narrated by Joy Nash. The only downside to this is that I have no idea how anything is spelled, so apologies in advance if I get things wrong.

In a future in which law enforcement has been privatized, street-smart Amber Payne is a detective with Securi-Tech, partnered with hacker extraordinaire Kevin Glass. The first thing people notice about her are always her eyes—or rather, the cybernetic implants that replaced her eyes, after she lost hers when street bangers attacked her.

When Amber and Kevin are hired by the powerful Alta Corp to investigate the theft of valuable data, they stumble upon something, much, much bigger than corporate espionage. They find themselves in the crosshairs of a powerful enemy, one who will stop at nothing to end them.

Where to start the gushing? This book has everything a good sci-fi adventure ought to have: intriguing characters, awesome tech, snappy dialogue, thrilling action, and even a touch of philosophy… And the street slang Amber employs is infectious. Brackett really brings his world to life.

The first thing that came to mind when I read (or rather, was listening to) this book was Gibson. And then as the book progressed, I felt shades of Philip K. Dick. Brackett seems like a natural heir to these sci-fi greats. His novel explores the possibilities of cyberspace and artificial intelligence, as well as the possible future of cosmetic surgery. In this world, people can get enhancements of all kinds—muscles, limbs, and more all have artificial counterparts that are more powerful than the real thing.

Pretty much every character in this book counts as a cyborg—part human and part machine. For Amber, it’s her cybernetic eyes. For Kevin, it’s his virtual alter-ego, K2. And then there are the street bangers and mercenaries they run into, who are so jacked up with tech, you start to wonder if they still count as human.

The plot of takes the stories on twists and turns, leading the characters in unexpected directions. I found myself more than once yelling, “What!” The mystery turns out to be far more complex than Amber anticipated, and there were times when I found myself wondering, “What is going on here?!” But the threads all come together in the end, leaving the reader with a satisfying resolution.

As a character, Amber is a familiar figure—the haunted, tough-as-nails detective who will stop at nothing to solve her case. But Brackett also brings her human side to the surface—the compassionate woman who cares about her partner and who isn’t without her faults.

Overall, this book was a very enjoyable read, and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a healthy dose of sci-fi. And if you’re too busy to curl up with a book (like I am these days), the audiobook is phenomenal. Joy Nash’s narration really makes the characters and action come alive, giving each person his or her own voice.

What more can I say? If you’re a fan of Gibson, the TV show “Almost Human”, Bladerunner, or anything else by Philip K. Dick, I highly recommend you give this book a try.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Blades and a babe

The story of Payne is a romp through futuristic sci-fi landscapes and enhanced human beings. Lots of great action and fiery blades cutting through mortal flesh. If you enjoy cyberpunk you will enjoy this. If you like a good detective story smashed with plenty of geek techno jargon, this is for you!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Thrillfest

Loved this. I would have listened to it all in one go but I've come down with a cold so I listened to it in three segments I had to sleep in between. I hope there's more of it as there are a few unanswered questions. This is the first book by Jeff Brackett that I've listened or read but it won't be the last.
The narrator kept me on my toes, she brought the story alive.
This audiobook was given to me for free at my request from the publisher or author or narrator and I provided this unbiased voluntary review.
Reasons I enjoyed this book:
Action-packed, Entertaining, Funny, Great world building, Original, Page-turner, Tragic, Twisted, Unpredictable, Wonderful characters.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A Solid Blend Of Future Tech & Police Thriller

“Streets of Payne” stars Amber Payne, a cop on a contract-for-hire police force. Amber, whose original, organic eyes were replaced with an early model set of artificial eyes, before the story of this book begins, is partnered with a computer whiz named Kevin. Together, the two work detective cases one would find in any police procedural type of story, only these would be set in the future. “Streets of Payne” reminded me, in certain ways, of the original 1987 RoboCop movie, in that I could easily see how a future society could evolve into the one described in this book. Some examples would be that corporations basically run society. Law enforcement is handled by private contractors instead of tax payer funded, city police departments. Medical science has progressed to the point that there are people walking the streets with black market enhancements that give them advantages over normal humans. With that set up, “Streets of Payne” offers its reader/listener good character development, good plot twists and an overall good story that’s worth your time.

Finally, this audio book was provided by the author at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of Audio Book Boom.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A snapshot of the future

Where does Streets of Payne rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is a good science fiction novel, plenty of bad guys with advanced tech and police too.
This story integrates advanced computers and computer science with cool weapons, enhanced humans and a clever/intriguing story line. If you like a bad-ass crime solving heroine then this is a good choice for you.

Any additional comments?

“I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Slow start...but entertaining

Any additional comments?

I was really looking forward to this book but I ended up having a really hard time with it. While the story overall is entertaining, engaging and enjoyable it just wasn't holding my attention. It wasn't one of those books I had to listen to every chance I had. It took several hours for me to really become even semi-interested in the story. It wasn't until Chapter 16 ( 3 hours in) that I really became interested in the story. Normally, by this time I would have thrown in the towel on a book.

After an initial bit of action the story slows down and very slowly builds back up again. The mystery and intrigue build slowly as well especially in the beginning. If the story had been a bit more fast paced with a bit more action in the beginning it would have pulled me in much sooner and had my full attention from the start.

It has all the elements that make a really enjoyable listen. An interesting story with a good mixture of action, suspense, intrigue and mystery. Great cast of characters, as well as a great narrator. Other than the rough start, once the story is setup and the action really gets started the story becomes really entertaining and interesting. The characters take a while to grow on you. But just as the story grows on you so do the characters.

Joy Nash does a great job with the narration. This is the first time I have listened to her narrate a book. Pleasant voice. Easy to listen to for long periods of time. Clearly spoken with a nice pace. The character voices are great. Both male and female, but between character voices the narration sounded flat at times. Overall though her narration was very enjoyable. I would definitely listen to her narrate other books.

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator or publisher.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Lots of action + srong cyber mystery.

Amber Payne is a street-smart detective and a valuable asset to her employer, Securi-Tech. The company provided Amber with Cybernetic implants when she lost her eyes in an attack by street bangers. Amber may still have nightmares but she doesn’t let that stop her tough investigative talents, and hands-on defensive skills.

Amber is teamed with a rookie detective, Kevin Glass, who is a computer whiz. If she can get him to the computer, he can hack into the information they need to help solve their cases. They are called in by Alta Corp to solve a case of data theft that involves confidential, ‘need to know’ project plans. Amber and Kevin push to uncover the clues to solve the case but when they return to Alta Corp offices to make an arrest they meet unexpected resistance. As they battle the criminal mastermind – or madman as they see him – they uncover startling secrets that could endanger the world… or certainly the world of technology. The resolution of that first case changes their lives as Amber recuperates from crushed legs and Kevin battles inner demons that keep him awake most nights.

Many months later Amber and Kevin are called back to Alta Corp to investigate the kidnapping of one of their high-level computer researchers/analysts. They track down the kidnapper but have to go into the most dangerous part of the city to try to rescue the researcher. Before they can escape safely, Amber is attacked by an armed team equipped with armaments that even Securi-Tech has never seen. As Amber fights against eight enemies, Kevin faces cyber attackers who are making it difficult for him to provide intel to his partner. The battle at both levels is intense, leaving Kevin in a coma.

Amber gets a temporary partner and added assistance from an unexpected source which she isn’t sure she can trust. The clues begin to lead to a horrifying tie-in with the first case. A terrible danger could be released if they aren’t successful in bringing down the threat.

I really enjoyed the kicking action and the well woven mystery. The intense, smart characters and the easy flowing dialogue added to the entertaining mystery. I liked the cyber aspects as an integral element in the suspense. Perhaps a little graphic in violence for any younger or squeamish audience and there is limited cursing with some of that being creative words i.e. not current, real curses. I recommend this to any mystery buff and especially those who like cyber elements.

Audio Notes: Joy Nash does a fine job with the narration. She presents different voices and attitudes fitting the characters. I appreciated this in audio format.

I received this title for free in exchange for an unbiased review. My rating 4.5.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Norma Miles
  • 04-18-17

"No one ever sees past the metal."

Any additional comments?

Jeff Bracket's audiobook, Streets of Payne, has brought together a superb narration by Joy Nash with an innovative, exciting science fiction futuristic police procedural mystery adventure.
Amber Payne is a law enforcement official who still suffers constant nightmares of the street bangers who took her eyes some years before. Her replacement occular cyber implants might have several advantages over the old, organic ones but the obvious metallic grey has crippled her self esteem. And left her with a ten year debt. Partnered recently with rookie Kevin Glass, the best cyber surfer she knows, the pair are sent to investigate the disappearance of two major research files from Alter Corp, a job which will have far reaching implications not just for Amber and Kevin but for the future itself.

The story is intriguing, fast paced, and with great characterisations which felt real despite the futuristic aspect. People might be altered, but they stay the same. The earlier half of the book is often sardonically funny, with good, natural dialogue, and the story develops into an action packed race to solve the mysteries. Ms.Nash mirrors the pace throughout, with a warm, rounded voice, clarity and intonation to match the text and the emotions. She is a perfect choice for the determined, yet still slightly fragile, Amber, and her performance of the other characters is also distinctive and very appropriately voiced. An exemplary narration.

I very much enjoyed Streets of Payne, with it's twisting tale of twisted people and of the others who aim to keep the ordinary folk safe. So deep thanks to the rights holder who gifted me my copy, via Audiobook Boom. This is the first book by this author that i have read but it will certainly not be the last. And although this story was complete in itself, i hope that there is more to come of Amber Payne and her friends. Recommended to all who enjoy their investigative-style science fiction stories both cyber and character rich.