Friday, 8 January 2016

Made To Kill by Adam Christopher

The first striking thing about this novel is the cover. A bit shallow I know, but this is a seriously cool cover and it got my attention. Second, I read the words, “Robot noir in 60s Los Angeles” and decided I wanted a piece of the action. 

Set in 1960s LA, we are introduced to the last robot on Earth, Raymond Electromatic. Not everybody likes robots, but that doesn’t much affect his job as a private detective. In fact it helps him if people keep their distance, which suits him and his colleague Ada, the office supercomputer. 

Things are ticking along nicely enough at the Electromatic Detective Agency until Ray is hired to find an awol actor and he is plunged into the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. What starts as a missing persons case – with a big bag of mysterious gold as the incentive – soon finds Ray caught up in a sinister plot involving spies and hidden villains that goes far beyond the reach of the silver screen. I won’t say anymore, so as not to give anything away! 

This is a fab mix of pulpy classic crime thrillers and cyber science fiction with some added sparkle from the LA setting. Who’d have thought all that would go together! Ray the Robot has a great personality and I loved the working relationship he has with Ada, it makes for very entertaining reading. I liked the book from the start, but it was when you find out that Ray kind of has a darker side than you first think that I really got interested. 

Once the mystery really gets going, the plot thickens and there is plenty for crime fiction fans to get their teeth into. There are all the thrills of a crime novel, but the science fiction element is equally well illustrated with plenty of robot and technology goodness throughout. The reader is always made aware that although he has human quirks, he is also very much machine. The 60s goes well and gives the story that vintage vibe that makes it stand out all the more. 

Made To Kill is the first book in the new LA Trilogy by Adam Christopher, and I’m quite excited to see what lies in store for Ray and the detective agency. Weird, wonderful and very original, Made To Kill is a crime tale, sci-fi hybrid that is thrilling as well as being pages of fun. 

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