Tears in Rain

Rosa Montero, trans. from the Spanish by Lilit Zekulin Thwaites. Amazon Crossing, $14.95 trade paper (464p) ISBN 978-1-61109-346-9
In her disappointing SF debut, award-winning Spanish novelist Moreno borrows Blade Runner's premise to depict artificial humans known as replicants, or reps, who are bred for unpleasant, often dangerous jobs with implanted false memories and limited life spans. Madrid-based Bruna Husky, former combat replicant, is a PI haunted by knowing her own death date. After a replicant neighbor turns murderous, the latest in an ongoing wave of rep violence, Bruna investigates a possible connection to black market memory implants. She puts aside her wariness toward the Radical Replicant Movement to help its leader, Myriam Chi, deal with death threats, while rumors spread that a rep conspiracy to overthrow humans is the cause of the unrest. Teamed unwillingly with bungling police inspector Paul Lizard, Bruna goes undercover to find the truth. Heavy-handed prose and clumsily handled exposition means this thriller falls far short of its classic inspiration. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/22/2012
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