cover image The Fourth Wall

The Fourth Wall

Walter Jon Williams. Orbit, $13.99 trade paper (416p) ISBN 978-0-316-13339-5

Williams turns in a sedate and sinister near-future mystery to follow thrillers This Is Not a Game and Deep State. Sean Makin is a former child star who at 29 has resorted to humiliating himself on reality TV. The protagonist of the earlier books, Dagmar Shaw, hires Sean to star in an unusual multibranched movie serial, and soon he’s being stalked and his co-workers start turning up dead. Has his deepest secret made him a target, or has the mysterious Dagmar drawn him into something terrifying? Sean is not a sympathetic character, but his in-depth moviemaking knowledge and experience with Hollywood’s dark side are engaging. Dagmar appears enough to satisfy fans, though she may look undeveloped to those who missed her previous adventures. Williams is a master of the little details that add depth to his exceptional writing and bring his world to life. (Feb.)