The Real Town Murders
By Adam Roberts
Book review by Oliver Smith
The blurb on the back…
“Alma is a private detective in a near-future England, a country desperately trying to tempt people away from the delights of Shine, the immersive successor to the internet. But most people are happy to spend their lives plugged in, and the country is decaying.
Alma’s partner is ill, and has to be treated without fail every 4 hours, a task that only Alma can do. If she misses the 5 minute window her lover will die. She is one of the few not to access the Shine.
So when Alma is called to an automated car factory to be shown an impossible death and finds herself caught up in a political coup, she knows that getting too deep may leave her unable to get home.
What follows is a fast-paced Hitchcockian thriller as Alma evades arrest, digs into the conspiracy, and tries to work out how on earth a dead body appeared in the boot of a freshly-made car in a fully-automated factory.”
I knew I was going to love this book when I found out that Reading (for any non-UK readers, that’s a pretty run-of-the-mill non-descript town) was rebranded Real-Town in the story. Marvellous.
The story revolves around a futuristic UK, where people mainly live in a virtual world called the Shine. This world is filled with AI, tech and could really be a glimpse of the future.
The story is fast-paced and gripping and at times stresses you out, in a good way. Alma, a likeable character, is faced with what looks like impossible situations and leaves you steaming through the pages hoping for miracles.
My only negative point about this book is that there were a few typos, it didn’t really affect my enjoyment of the book, but if I was Adam Roberts, I’d be pissed off at my publisher and editor for not eliminating them.
Other than that, I give this book a double thumbs up. Read if you like crime thrillers and sci-fi books, or just good books in general.