Revisiting a book I loved from early 90s, I wondered if it would hold up. It sure does. It gripped me again from the killer opening line: “Only the most paranoid clients phone me in my sleep.”
Nick Stavrianos is a PI, hired to search for a woman who disappeared from her room in a secure mental institution. He is an ex-cop who can use his standard police neurological mods to ‘prime’ himself into what his ex-wife called the ‘zombie boy scout’, “so earnest, so blinkered, so fucking sensible, it made me want to gag”. He doesn’t miss Karen. A custom mod made her death irrelevant, wrapped in a self-contained set of beliefs that makes regret impossible. And he can talk to her whenever he wants.
The stars are gone. Thirty-three years in the book’s past, when Nick was a boy, the solar system was encased in a bubble. Nobody knows who or what made the bubble, or why, although the social and religious reverberations have shaped the world Nick lives in.
Quarantine starts out as a detective novel in a fascinating future where people can buy their chosen state of mind. It takes a side-step in the middle to become something stranger that I won’t spoil for you. If you like to delve into philosophy and physics, I recommend that you take the journey.
Note: this book is now marketed as Subjective Cosmology #1. This is not a series, just some novels that explore similar themes.
CBRbingo: Shelfie; I’ve owned this book since it was a new release