Cover art by Deron Douglas
From the Back Cover:
The year is 2071 and there’s a serial killer loose in Atlanta. Lieutenant Jak Decker, a homicide cop, is on the case but is getting nowhere. As the body count mounts, his boss assigns him a partner, the smart and beautiful Detective Cassandra Smith. Decker, a tough, wisecracking loner, doesn’t want a partner, especially when he finds out she’s an android.
The Nanotech Murders by Lee Gimenez (Double Dragon Publishing) was added to my ‘to read’ list because the topic of future police work appeals to me. I felt it promised to show me another author’s take on the future of police work.
I spent a lot of my college years studying Law Enforcement. It had been an eventual career goal for me at one point. So when I read or watch fiction involving police work, I tend to be extra critical. I tend to notice unbelievable situations, reactions, and characters.
Unlike others I have know, I am able to recognize that police fiction has to be dramatized because in general the job has a lot of very boring moments. No one would read a book about a cop who pulls over traffic violator for eight hours, maybe handles a domestic quarrel or two, then goes home and goes to bed.
Trust me, I am not down playing the daily duties of our police, they regularly put their lives on the line. They often have to go from boring to complete terror in seconds. If fact, that is exactly whey we love Police fiction. It takes that terror and puts it into a believable scenario so we can watch police officers become the heroes we know them to truly be.
It is 2071 in Atlanta, and the police are dealing with a serial killer. They have almost nothing to go on and the number of victims are rising. To make matters worse the Captain is putting a lot of pressure on Detective Jak Decker to solve the case before the media gets wind of it.
Jak’s boss feels he needs a partner and forces Cassandra on him. As you read this story Jak and Cassandra find themselves neck deep in a case that may be more then they can handle. Every time they pull a small thread, their word unravels even more. They must struggle to solve this case before it destroys everything they have worked for.
Jak is you stereo-typical detective: A drunk with a troubled marriage, who doesn’t play by the rules and often goes rogue from his orders. It’s pretty much all thrown at you in the opening scene, and it was a bit troublesome for me to take. But, Gimenez quickly breaths life in Jak and despite the stereo-types, I quickly found myself drawn in by Jak’s character. I really wanted to see him succeed.
The character I most identified with was Cassandra Smith, the CS android unit that represents the best android technology has to offer. Every scene and chapter in her point of view was enjoyable to read. She is struggling to understand police work beyond the programing she has. The relationship that Cass and Jak develop through the novel was one of the very enjoyable plot threads of the novel.
Gimenez writes a thoughtful thriller that applies subtle twists and turns to the plot. It is a fresh take on the thriller with multiple entertaining plot threads that work well to complete an overall story that was fun to read. I don’t think there was one point in the novel where I thought, I saw that coming.
The action scenes are written well. They provide you with an intense feeling as if you are actually involved in these scenes yourself. There are plenty of gun fights in the novel, but they don’t ever become boring or predictable. Each time a character was involved in something life threatening you got the real sense that they could lose everything trying to solve this crime.
As I mentioned above, I am very quick to spot the mistakes in Police stories, the unrealistic descriptions of events. This story has some of those. None of this was distracting to the story. I never felt like yelling: Oh come on! That’s impossible!
So overall this is a great future cop thriller, that is believable and an entertaining read. Gimenez does everything right with this one. He takes believable cops, and shows them to be the heroes we all know them to be. The Nanotech Murders is a must read for anyone who enjoys Science Fiction, Thrillers, and/or Police fiction. Gimenez does a great job telling a blockbuster tale here. One that is fun to read, has believable characters, a strong plot, and is just plain entertaining. It is easily a four out of five. I strongly recommend you pick up a copy. I know I will be adding some other Gimenez titles to my ‘to read’ list.
(You can purchase The Nanotech Murders in paperback or for your Kindle on Amazon.com here. It is also availble in paperback and Nook at Barnes and Noble here.)