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Immaterial Evidence (2013)

by Milo James Fowler(Favorite Author)
4.56 of 5 Votes: 1
Musa Publishing
review 1: Immaterial Evidence combines the world of the 1930s private detective with a science fiction world of androids, EMP guns, and embedded video links. And here's the really strange part, there are some criminals who can become "immaterial" at will. It's a tribute to Fowler's skills that these worlds mesh seamlessly into a cohesive whole.The protagonist and narrator is Charlie Madison, a gumshoe and war veteran who is still recovering from his mental wounds. He's old-fashioned. Doesn't use the latest communication gadgets and relies on his trusty snub-nosed revolver. His loyal secretary is Wanda Wood--a gum-chewing, leggy blonde with an astounding memory. She also makes great coffee. Madison's friend on the police force is Sergeant Archibald Douglass, an Irish cop who isn't on... more the Russian mafia's payroll. Sounds like the setup for a 1930s crime drama, but this isn't the San Francisco of yesteryear. Madison's city is part of the United World, a super-power in a cold war with the Eastern Conglomerate. Acid rain falls regularly and not far away is the ghetto known as Little Tokyo, where Japanese refugees from the last war have settled, though not happily.As the story begins, Madison has fled to hide out in Little Tokyo under the protection of the Japanese mafia. Madison's previous case put him at the top of the Russian mafia's hit list. Douglass calls asking Madison to come back and help investigate a bizarre bank robbery. Hundreds of silver bars vanished from a bank vault. The video shows the bars going poof. Madison can't turn down helping a friend, but before Madison can even talk to Douglass, the Sergeant and then the mayor disappear as well. The investigation of a bank robbery becomes a crusade to rescue Douglass. Along the way to confronting the immaterial villains, Madison must contend with the Russian mafia and federal agents, known as Blackshirts, who swoop in to hush-up the crimes and put a favorable spin on events even if that means deleting a few memories.Charlie Madison goes on a wild and twisted ride, gets knocked about, but never gives up. If you like hard-boiled detective stories, check out Immaterial Evidence. I'm looking forward to Madison's next case.
review 2: I really liked this story. It was a bit of crossover fun; a cross between Mickey Spillane and iRobot. Fowler really painted the classic noir/gumshoe world well with the typical seedy areas of town – warehouses, dark alleys, cultural inner city sections – as well as the great dialogue and narration/detective’s inner voice. The science fiction part of the story was a new twist I had yet to see, but why not? Why does everything in this genre have to be Maltese Falcon-ish? The story was fairly short which I’m curious about. All in all, I had no complaints. It was different, well-written and completed submerged me in Madison’s world. It wasn’t a world I was expecting, but that simply made it one of those pleasant reading discoveries which is why we pick up a book in the first place. less
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A cracking read from a new writer who's turning more than a few heads with his style.
This fast paced sci-fi thriller is the perfect summer read!
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