Thin Air – Richard Morgan

It’s been eight years since Richard Morgan published a new book.  Thin Air (review copy from Gollancz) is his latest, and it takes no prisoners.   Hakan Veil is muscle for hire.  A human enhanced to be an Overrider, working for the corporates to deal with crises in deep space.  But an incident left his contract terminated, and him living from contract to contract in the frontier colonies of Mars.

Waking from one of his regular periods of hibernation, Veil is “running hot”: the crisis response he was engineered to deliver, pumped with adrenaline and super-fast reactions.  Within a very short space of time he finds himself arrested for murder in the aftermath of one of his contracts, but released on condition he provides security to Madison Madekwe, one of a team of investigators sent by the Earth authorities to investigate alleged corruption in the colonial administration.  Madekwe is kidnapped and Veil finds himself trying to protect his charge and unravel a conspiracy.

This is a thriller that travels at extreme break-neck speed.  So fast that you barely have time to draw breath and any weaknesses in the plot will pass you by.  As you would expect from Morgan, it is also incredibly violent with an extremely high body count and the fetishisation of firearms.  But if you want a fast-paced, high-concept thriller with lots of excitement and some fantastic twists and turns, this will deliver in spades.

Goodreads rating: 3*

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