Grade: Β — Really good book within the genre, probably worth reading regardless of which genre’s you like, but may have a style of writing or setting that may not appeal to all readers. Alternatively, it may not have deep commentary or thought outside of the book itself.
A collection of three intertwined cyberpunk detective stories that manage to blend all aspects of both genres beautifully. I highly recommend this novel if you enjoy either cyberpunk or gum-shoe detective stories. I’d also consider it worth your while if you like any form of either Science Fiction or Mystery.
A collection of three novellas that are brought together by a dark setting, strong characters and tertiary plot lines that develop across the arcs of the three stories. Principal point-of-view characters change across each of the novellas, starting with the eponymous Lt. Frank Carlucci beginning as a secondary character in the first story, moving to being the principal point-of-view (POV) character in the second, then sharing POV with additional characters in the third. Other characters also appear across the tales, but Carlucci remains the constant that ties them together.
To that end, he is the central character whose arc develops and changes as we move from one tale to the next. He is an honest cop who is dedicated to his family, a delightful change in the post-Dirty Harry world where every cop has a dark gritty edge. Don’t get me wrong, Carlucci has an edge and has real depth as a character, but he moves beyond the stereotype so common in modern (or futuristic) cop stories.
But that’s not to say the book is without dirt or grit. Russo’s future San Francisco has more than enough edge to satisfy any cyberpunk fan. Corruption and foul play fill this story from beginning to end. Where as many cyberpunk tales focus on the high tech glamour, Carlucci focuses solely on the dark underbelly of society. It’s like a cyberpunk future written by James Elroy.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes Science Fiction or Crime Fiction, and suspect others would enjoy it as well.