Made to Kill: L.A. Trilogy #1
Tor, 2015 (2015)
Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
Made to Kill
, first in his new
, is essentially a noir, hard-boiled mystery (think A. A. Fair) set in an alternate past and starring a robotic PI/assassin. Indeed in his
at the back of the book, the author tells us that he intended to write a '
Chandler sci-fi epic
he story is set in 1965 Hollywood, California in a world a little different from our own. A big rollout of robots in the 50s was followed by a backlash of
. All robots were junked. Then Professor Thornton created Raymond Electromatic, '
the last robot in the world
', paired with computer AI Ada to run the Electromatic Detective Agency. But somewhere along the way, Ada developed a mind of her own, with two goals - independence and profit. She started to hire Raymond, whose memory only lasts one day, out as a very effective hit man.
ike the typical Raymond Chandler novel, this one opens on a femme fatale entering the office - lovely young film star Eva McLuckie who pays them in solid gold bars to eliminate a fellow star, Charles David. So Raymond starts looking for David and discovers that quite a few A-listers had disappeared recently. The trail leads to the Temple of the Magenta Dragon, an elite club for the rich and famous, where Raymond's Geiger counter tells him he's with '
the hottest stars in Hollywood.
he rather convoluted plot carries on with Cold War Russian spies, CIA agents, a tuxedoed mummy, a movie premiere, radioactivity, mind control, and a devious plan to take over the world, with its last robot as a key actor. Can Raymond Electromatic stop it? Of course, you know he will, with just a little help from his lovely client.
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