Titanium Noir

Knopf. May 2023. 256p. ISBN 9780593535363. $28. SF
Private eye Cal Sounder is a “fixer” who smooths over issues between the elite Titans and mere humans in a dystopian future. Titans are genetically engineered, mega-rich, practically immortal, and nearly indestructible, so Cal gets called in when one turns up dead. His investigation into the murder of one Titan, who could only have been killed by a fellow Titan, puts him between a rock (the elites who want it all covered up) and a hard place (the cops who need a solution—or a scapegoat—that keeps them out of the Titans’ sights). If Cal can’t find the murderer, then he’s bound to be the goat. This SF thriller hits all the beats of a gritty noir mystery, wrapped in a near-future setting where immortality can be had for a price, and those able to pay it are willing to compromise everything, including their humanity.
VERDICT Harkaway (Gnomon) combines a satisfying mystery with a thought-provoking science-fictional setting and just the right touch of heartbreak to make for a compelling read. Recommended for those who enjoy reading SF/mystery blends such as The Spare Man by Mary Robinette Kowal, Station Eternity by Mur Lafferty, and especially Drunk on All Your Strange New Words by Eddie Robson.
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