|4 out of 5 stars|
“I may have once had some thin faith in something like cosmic justice, but now I believe in box-cutters.”
So says Spademan, ex-garbageman, current hit-man, and very noir protagonist in the gritty, post-dirty-bomb world of New York City. Sternbergh speaks in the crime noir voice quite effectively. Spademan can drink with the best of them when he chooses to. He knows his way around the underworld of NYC and he stays on the right end of the box-cutters, even if he does get roughed up occasionally in virtual reality. Even Spademan’s name elicits comparisons to Sam Spade. Plus, Spademan has the same somewhat twisted set of values of a Philip Marlowe—there are some things he won’t do for any amount of money.
“I kill men. I kill women because I don’t discriminate. I don’t kill children because that’s a different kind of psycho.”
Sternbergh is no Raymond Chandler, but he writes a good science-fiction noir. The reader must have no prejudices against sentence fragments, dialog sans punctuation, or stream of consciousness.
Very entertaining, a quick read. I will never hear that tired politicians’ phrase “shovel ready” in quite the same way again.