Vienna, winter 2026. A place filled with post-millennial excess: pollution, neo-Nazis, designer drugs, holographic TV, and ultra-intelligent environments. When a commodities broker named Leo Detmers winds up dead -- the victim of a seemingly random traffic accident -- his pregnant widow, Petra, turns to a tabloid columnist named Sharkey to look into what she believes was a calculated murder. But just who was Leo Detmers and who would want him dead? Beginning with a graffiti message on the wall of Leo's apartment, Sharkey peels back the layers of Leo's life and death, each revealing a larger, more chilling design. As he attempts to link puzzling coincidences and perilous secrets, Sharkey soon realizes he's in over his head, party to a conspiracy with roots in Vienna's dark past that could change the world forever.
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Arriving on raves from Britain, Mathewss first novel is touted as a marriage of Blade Runner and The Third Man. Could any thriller live up to such advance billing? Well, like Greenes Harry Lime and Scotts replicant-chaser Deckard, Mathews's hero, society columnist Sharkey, has plenty of weight on the page, and his voice gives the story an exotic density of Weltschmerz and Schadenfreude woven amusingly with well-balanced electrono-pedantry and neo-Gibsoneque micrometric technojargon. (``In the breast pocket of the shirt was a C-series Bip-Bip Networker, powered by nanomechanical micro-reactors.'') Tittle-tattler Sharkey is called by Petra Detmers, the supremely attractive, extremely pregnant widow of Leo Detmers, a man Sharkey met but once, who has been killed by a car in Viennas Prater Park, scene of the sublime Ferris wheel episode in The Third Man. Petra has identified Leo's body at the hospital, where all his body parts were harvested, and she thinks her husband was murdered. That makes Leo quite dead, doesn't it? Will Sharkey help? The hack Sharkey says yes, but he isnt exactly brimming with the self-confidence one would hope for in someone setting out to right a wrong: ``I swear to God: If I wasn't such a shit, I'd hate myself,'' he informs us. The zither-dancing plot, set in 2026 during Vienna's first snowfall in seven years and larded with Plasmavision screens, Holocolor photos, and Saarinen tulip chairs, turns on eugenics and bioengineering and roots back through the Gulf War to the gruesome tinkering of Hitlers medical corps. The premise involves subjects of genetic experiments who have grown to adulthoodand a hero who may not be quite human himself. Tip-top charcoal character sketches, dandy dialogue, and atmospheric evocation of Vienna swimming in the dark waters of the future. The mood-showering prose slows the pace here and there, but that's little to pay for solid entertainment. -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.Review:
"A near-future of frightening plausibility.... If you locked Aldous Hunley, John Le Carre and Richard Dawkins in a room, this is the sort of yarn they might spin." -- New Statesman
"Bloody marvelous! A revelation, a masterfully written, brilliantly paced novel that sucks you into the depths of a biotech nightmare." -- Focus
"Bold, fast, flip, and, above all, smart, Vienna Blood is a Tilt-A-Whirl ride through tomorrow's Zeitgeist. Adrian Mathews reads the culture's cutting edge; extrapolates our future of organ brokers, holographic advertising and neo-fascism; and wraps the results in a riveting thriller. This is the novel as pepper-spraying alarm clock, waking as all to the Brave New Millennium. It's William Gibson wreaking havoc on Graham Greene's DNA. It's that sweet jolt that recalls your first hit of Philip K. Dick." -- Jack O'Connell, author of Word Made Flesh and The Skin Palace
"Fiction at the cutting edge. . . .Adrian Mathews has done for [Vienna] what Ridley Scott did for Los Angeles in Blade Runner." -- The Times, London
"Hardboiled but intellectually agile, Vienna Blood is a delight a techno-thriller so impressive in re-ennobles a genre woefully demeaned in retest years by neo-Crichcon buck-chasers. Matthews's creations leap off the page, and the fruits of his impressively thorough research are integrated subtly and organically." -- Time Out, London
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Book Description Vintage, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0099283042