Charles Stross’s Rule 34: The Review

Dectective Inspector Liz Kavanaugh of the Lothian and Borders Police just wants to go home, and she’s almost out the door. Almost. She is pulling a monthly shift, as everyone has to do, in the control centre when she’s contacted by Sergeant MacDougall, who’s at the scene of a murder and lets her know that she really needs to be there, as he thinks it’s a “two wet-suit job.”

Did your eyebrows just go up? Mine did too, when I read that – and it’s just as interesting as you think it is.

Kavanaugh quickly realizes that she’s got something big on her hands, as this near future version of Edinburgh only has a few murders a year; it’s even bigger than that. Five years ago, she was made head of the Innovative Crimes Unit after an investigation that got out of hand and it seems to her as if her past has come back to haunt her.

Through a complicated chain of events, related murders are stacking up across Europe and Kavanaugh is going to have to work with someone from Europol that she’d really rather not have to in order to get this solved before anyone else dies.

The technology in this book is fantastic, and something I suspect police today would very much like to have. The police have access to something called CopSpace just by putting on glasses. How cool is that?

Charles Stross has given us a mashup here of a police procedural, a blistering economics lesson, and a fairly terrifying sideways look at what could happen to America if we don’t get our economic issues straight. The book does not slow down for the reader; it yanks you in and expects you to keep up.

Read the first chapter of Rule 34 here.

2 thoughts on “Charles Stross’s Rule 34: The Review

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  1. My only complaint with this book, which was otherwise fantastic, was that it was told entirely in second person. Among several different point-of-view characters. I found that to be a bit off-putting and strange and it took me a while to get used to it.

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