Great North Run by Peter F Hamilton is another great read from one the band of great 'newer' British sci-fi authors we are lucky to have at the moment. The story is set 130 years in the future in Newcastle, UK and off-world; transport gates exist for instant travel and the economy is effected by reliance on fuel. Initially the book revolves around a murder, and evolves into a story about the effect human society going out to the stars.
Ok, sounds like quite a few other books? Yes and no, the effect of human venturing out into the stars is not new, that is standard stuff, but the book has various levels to it .
The personal level of the detective leading on the murder investigation who is pragmatically dealing with conflicts of interests between doing his job and his 'patron' from an interstellar corporation lead by a group of clones of there founder (one of who is murdered). A woman who is accused twenty years of a similar murder, but has a complex past. The corporation and its family dynamics. Who or what is killing the members of this family. Eventually leading up to some morality issues about settling a new planet and what sentience is.
Hamilton has produce a relatively long book, don't let this put you off, the pacing is fast, the multiple strands of the story running parallel, with flashbacks at appropriate points keeps you engaged and the story itself is good. Flashbacks in some books can be annoying but I was surprised that when I want to know a bit more backstory it came along quite soon after (perhaps I easily pleased!). Characters in the book are people you feel for, and their actions are understandable.
Another good book and if you have read some of his other books then I think you will like this.
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