cover image Red Team Blues

Red Team Blues

Cory Doctorow. Tor, $27.99 (224p) ISBN 978-1-250-86584-7

Bestseller Doctorow (Little Brother) plumbs the murky systems of cryptocurrency in this earnest techno-thriller and series launch. Martin Hench, a 67-year-old forensic accountant turned hacker for hire, is kept from retiring by one last job for a good friend. Danny Lazer, cryptocurrency entrepreneur, has been stung by his own staff and needs to retrieve the stolen decoding keys that secure his crypto cash vaults or he’ll face ruin and trillions of dollars of financial disruption. Martin, working both physical and digital detective beats to crack the case, turns up some answers—but also some dead bodies. Now the families of the deceased and the criminal cartels that they crossed are out for blood, landing Martin himself in the crosshairs. Doctorow brings a thoroughness and honesty to a subject masked by techno-babble and emotional hype (“all that blockchain for good shit”) to deliver a clear-eyed warning about how crypto is used (money laundering) and what it costs (billions of tons of CO2). The jargon may overwhelm less tech savvy readers, but with unconventional gumshoe Martin at the helm, fans can expect good things from the series to come. (Apr.)