Synopses & Reviews
New York Times
bestselling author Peter F. Hamilton’s riveting new thriller combines the nail-biting suspense of a serial-killer investigation with clear-eyed scientific and social extrapolation to create a future that seems not merely plausible but inevitable.
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.
"Hamilton's stand-alone near-future mystery is a mesmerizing page-turner whose pace never lags despite the book's substantial length. In 2143, Newcastle police detective Sidney Hurst realizes that a naked corpse dragged from the river was a member of the North family. Clones Augustine, Bartram, and Constantine North founded a company that invested in trans-spatial connection, a technology that opened gateways to other star systems and expanded humanity's access to energy and living space. They cloned themselves in turn, by the hundreds. The wounds on the dead North, whose exact identity is vexingly hard to pin down, match those on Bartram's body after he and his household were slaughtered in 2121 and Angela Tramelo, convicted of those murders, always claimed that an alien monster was the real culprit. The intense whodunit plot and the sustained ambiguity about Tramelo's innocence or guilt are enhanced by plausible extrapolations of 22nd-century human cultures. Agent: James MacDonald Lockhart, Antony Harwood Ltd." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Peter F. Hamilton is the author of numerous novels, including The Evolutionary Void, The Temporal Void, The Dreaming Void, Judas Unchained, Pandora’s Star, Fallen Dragon, and the acclaimed epic Night’s Dawn trilogy (The Reality Dysfunction, The Neutronium Alchemist, and The Naked God). He lives with his family in England.