Narrator: Steven Jay Cohen
Published by Self Published / Indie on 23 September 2014
Length: 8 hrs and 47 mins
Genres: Dystopian, Mystery/Thriller, Science Fiction
Source: Author, Submitted
Fans of William Gibson, Jonathan Letham, and Richard K. Morgan will enjoy Strictly Analog by Richard Levesque.
What's a private detective to do in a future where nothing is private? That's Ted Lomax's problem. In the new California, a corporation runs the government, electric cars have drive tones, and a new technology keeps everyone constantly connected to the Internet. Almost everyone.
Disabled in California's war for independence, Ted is locked out of the new tech. Living on the fringes of society for years, he's found a way to turn his disability into cash: finding clients who need their info kept off the grid.
But when his daughter is accused of murdering her boyfriend - an agent in California's Secret Police - Ted has to dig himself out of the hole he's been in. To save his daughter, he ventures into a shadow world of underground hackers, high-end programmers, and renegade gear-heads, all of whom seem to have a stake in California's future.
It soon becomes clear it's about more than one dead agent. Solving the case might save his daughter. And it might get him killed. And it just might open the door to secrets surrounding the attack that almost killed him eighteen years before.
One thing's certain, though. Ted Lomax will never be the same.
©2012 Richard Levesque (P)2014 Richard Levesque
ABR received this audiobook for free from the Author, Submitted in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect our opinion of the audiobook or the content of our review.Buy from Audible Buy from Amazon.com Audio SampleAdd to Goodreads
Richard Levesque presents a compelling science fiction detective thriller in Strictly Analog, which finds P.I. Ted Lomax on the hunt for answers after his daughter is accused of murdering her boyfriend, an agent for California’s secret police. Injured in the war for California’s independence, Lomax is unable to use the Google Glass-like eye-wear that has proliferated across LA and keeps people connected to the net. As such, he specializes in the rare breed of off-grid detective work, advertising himself as ‘strictly analog.’
Levesque presents a corporate-run California where the gap between social classes has increased even further and the rich trip on a drug that mimics synesthesia, and where everyone is constantly connected. Lomax’s investigation takes him far off his usual beaten path of working cheating spouse cases and into the underbelly of a high-tech conspiracy and the burgeoning technology of transhumanism. The technology on display gives this technothriller a near-future feel and you can easily see the stepping stones to Levesque’s cyberpunk noir world in the here and now, and in the wake of Citizens United a corporate run government seems more than a probable eventuality. The story is kept grounded and rightly focused on the people, with the skewed relations connecting Lomax, his daughter, the dead boyfriend, and Miles, the head of the secret police and one-time war ally with Lomax, is a twisted little construct. The ancillary characters, too, help to reinforce the high tech-driven world, playing off today’s own eBay resellers and augmented big data hackers, while also acting as terrific foils for Lomax and his research.
The story is told through Lomax’s first-person perspective, and the narration by Steven Jay Cohen is suitably world-weary. Lomax is a tired, cynical man and Cohen’s slow and steady performance is a solid match to Levesque’s words. I was initially turned off by Cohen’s somewhat flat, monotone delivery, but adjusted to it well enough and actually found it be surprisingly well suited to the story. Although the narration is on the flat side, it’s actually never boring thanks to the crisp prose and the turns the story takes, and the interest-factor of the technology at play. Cohen perks up occasionally when delivering dialogue, and I caught myself grinning a bit at the energy he brings to the character of Sonny, an on-the-run hardware developer. The production quality is crisp and clean, making Strictly Analog a smooth and easy listen.
Those looking for a fresh mystery story with a dash of science fiction would do well to check this one out, and Lomax has all the makings of a mid-21st Century Columbo. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Levesque brings him back sometime soon for a new case to solve.
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