New Hopeland was built to be the centre of the technological age, but like everywhere else, it has its dark side. Assassins, drug dealers and crooked businessmen form a vital part of the city’s make-up, and sometimes, the police are in too deep themselves to be effective. But hey, there are always other options …
For P.I. Cassie Tam, business has been slow. So, when she’s hired to investigate the death of a local VR addict named Eddie Redwood, she thinks it’ll be easy money. All she has to do is prove to the deceased’s sister Lori that the local P.D. were right to call it an accidental overdose. The more she digs though, the more things don’t seem to sit right, and soon, Cassie finds herself knee deep in a murder investigation. But that’s just the start of her problems.
When the case forces Cassie to make contact with her drug dealing ex-girlfriend, Charlie Goldman, she’s left with a whole lot of long buried personal issues to deal with. Then there’s her client. Lori Redwood is a Tech Shifter, someone who uses a metal exoskeleton to roleplay as an animal. Cassie isn’t one to judge, but the Tech Shifting community has always left her a bit nervous. That wouldn’t be a problem if Lori wasn’t fast becoming the first person that she’s been genuinely attracted to since splitting with Charlie. Oh, and then there’s the small matter of the police wanting her to back off the case.
Easy money, huh? Yeah, right.
I enjoy reading PI novels in the style of Raymond Chandler and I also enjoy futuristic cyberpunk books. This book, “Addict”, is a good combination of these two styles.
Cassandra (Cassie) Tam is a PI who is hired by Lori Redwood to prove that her brother, Eddie, did not die from an OD during a Virtual Reality session. Sure, Eddie was a self proclaimed addict and the police have called his death an accidental OD, but Lori insists that Eddie never did drugs.
The more Cassie delves into this case, the more she learns of the corruption in the PD and throughout the city of New Hopeland. She thinks that she has learned enough to prove that Eddie was murdered, but is there more to his death than she first thought?
The author does a wonderful job in building this futuristic world of high tech, including Tech Shifters, Virtual Reality addicts, cyberhacking and more. There is a guard dog of sorts named Bert, who looks a little like a metallic gargoyle, who protects Cassie and her property.
Cassie is introduced to the world of role playing while wearing a metal exoskeleton when she learns that Lori is a Tech Shifter. Tech Shifters wear the specialized suits which allows the user to become an animal and play to their heart’s content.
There is a hint of romance between Cassie and Lori, but nothing graphic. In fact, it was handled in a very sweet manner, with both women opening up to the other in times of grief. I enjoyed this book a lot and will definitely be looking for more in this series and more by the author.