Control Alter Delete

Stella Whiteman. Soonscape, $13.99 trade paper (376p) ISBN 978-0-692-43965-4
Whiteman’s near-future Orwellian thriller is a promising debut that matches its interesting ideas with solid writing and fleshed-out characters. In 2059 London, Ezra Hurst handles anomalies for Sense, a global surveillance company. His boss assigns him to handle a complaint by Suzanne Dixon, a member of Opposition to Mandatory Neural Implants, which has been campaigning against Sense’s efforts to expand its capabilities. Suzanne’s brother, Gavin, had been a brilliant mathematician before suffering serious injuries in a train crash; he’s been missing for five weeks, and Suzanne doesn’t believe Sense’s video records that show him leaving town by train. Apart from his understandable refusal to travel that way after the accident, Suzanne notes some oddities in the surveillance records that lead Ezra to believe that she’s on to something. Simultaneously, he’s trying to solve the puzzle of an attractive woman who hit on him at a bar and whose image doesn’t appear in Sense’s records. Plausible and imaginative technological developments, such as software that uses “visual hypotheses” to combine computer-generated images with actual footage, enhance the gripping thriller plot. (BookLife)
Reviewed on: 10/19/2015
Release date: 07/01/2015
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