Girl of Great Price by Milo James Fowler
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
In this novella, Fowler blends hardboiled detective fiction with a futuristic dystopian society and delivers with effective storytelling.
Charlie Madison is your typical down-at-the-heel detective with seedy connections in the underworld and a desperate need for a real life. His associates are the kind of people you'd expect in a gritty 1950s noir film and Fowler sets the mood well. I couldn't help but picture the action in black and white!
The twist is that the story is set in a near future where pollution and lawlessness are the rule of the day and the crime syndicates have all but taken over. Madison's case brings him in contact with several players in this world and this helps flesh out the setting nicely. Given that this is a short work, I can't really get into the plot without giving away spoilers, but it's an intriguing story with a hint of fantasy to add spice to the science fiction.
My only criticism is that I would have liked the story to be longer in order to round out the characters a bit more and wrap up the case more completely. Seeing as this is part of a series, I suppose that will happen in later books.
If detective science fiction is your thing, you'll enjoy this book.
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