Nov 162015

Cover for Made to Kill by Adam Christopher. A noir stylized painting of a closeup of a robot dressed in a fedora and trenchcoat with a woman's silhouette in the background.Booklist: The genre-blending trend takes an enjoyable turn in this hard-boiled-PI and science-fiction hybrid, which author Christopher describes in his foreword as being like “Raymond Chandler’s long-lost science fiction epic.” The year, 1965. The place, Hollywood. The world, alternate (JFK is still alive, and the Cuban Missile Crisis is just getting going). The citizenry is doubly captivated by the Cuban Missile Crisis and a big Hollywood premier. Enter our hero, Ray, a robot PI. Ray is the last robot left in a world that used to be dominated by them. He has recently been reprogrammed by his supercomputer boss, Ada, to be an undercover contract killer, but with only a 24-hour memory tape, Ray is not sure how or why this happened. When a sultry starlet comes into Ray’s office with an order to kill her leading man and a bagful of gold bars to cover the payment, Ray lands in the middle of an evil conspiracy with roots much deeper than the movie industry. The action, plot, dialogue, and characters are straight out of Chandler, while the science-fiction elements are reminiscent of the very best of that genre from the 1940s and ’50s (think Philip K. Dick and Robert Heinlein). This first in the L.A. trilogy is a fun, fast read for anyone willing to take the speculative leap—a must-add for most fiction collections.