Standard Hollywood Depravity

Adam Christopher. Tor.com, $14.99 trade paper (176p) ISBN 978-0-7653-9183-4
Christopher takes the Electromatic Detective Agency’s proprietor, Ray Electromatic (from 2015’s Made to Kill), for a spin in a shorter story that lacks punch. Ray’s boss, Ada, a computer that fills an entire room and fits the part of wry moll, sends him on a mission to kill a woman named Honey. When Ray stumbles on an after-hours auction (attended by powerful crime bosses and their minions) for a mysterious object, he and Honey are suddenly thrown together. Ray is an undeniably charming hero, and being the last robot gives him a melancholy, lonely air. The dialogue and Hollywood setting are spot-on for a retro, noir feel, especially when Raymond speaks with Ada on the phone and “she made a sound like those lips were wrapped around the end of a cigarette and taking a healthy draw.” The story works up some decent suspense regarding the object up for auction, but the truth is surprisingly mundane. For series fans and noir readers who consider the journey more important than the destination, there’s enough here to satisfy. Agent: Stacia Decker, Dunow, Carlson & Lerner Literary. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/23/2017
Release date: 03/07/2017
Ebook - 978-0-7653-9182-7
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