Humanity is in the eye of the beholder. But for street-smart detective Amber Payne, it's the eyes that aren't human. Cybernetic implants replaced the organics she lost in the line of duty, and their appearance often causes Amber to doubt her self-worth. Rookie detective Kevin Glass is her partner. And though he may be new, Kevin's unparalleled skill as an elite cyber-surfer makes him an invaluable asset. When Alta Corp contracts the two of them to solve a case of high stakes data theft, they will need every bit of skill, experience, and determination to succeed. For the more they investigate, the more it becomes evident that this case is much more than it appears, and its resolution may forever alter the world in which they live.
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"No one ever sees past the metal."
Jeff Bracket's audiobook, Streets of Payne, has brought together a superb narration by Joy Nash with an innovative, exciting science fiction futuristic police procedural mystery adventure.
Amber Payne is a law enforcement official who still suffers constant nightmares of the street bangers who took her eyes some years before. Her replacement occular cyber implants might have several advantages over the old, organic ones but the obvious metallic grey has crippled her self esteem. And left her with a ten year debt. Partnered recently with rookie Kevin Glass, the best cyber surfer she knows, the pair are sent to investigate the disappearance of two major research files from Alter Corp, a job which will have far reaching implications not just for Amber and Kevin but for the future itself.
The story is intriguing, fast paced, and with great characterisations which felt real despite the futuristic aspect. People might be altered, but they stay the same. The earlier half of the book is often sardonically funny, with good, natural dialogue, and the story develops into an action packed race to solve the mysteries. Ms.Nash mirrors the pace throughout, with a warm, rounded voice, clarity and intonation to match the text and the emotions. She is a perfect choice for the determined, yet still slightly fragile, Amber, and her performance of the other characters is also distinctive and very appropriately voiced. An exemplary narration.
I very much enjoyed Streets of Payne, with it's twisting tale of twisted people and of the others who aim to keep the ordinary folk safe. So deep thanks to the rights holder who gifted me my copy, via Audiobook Boom. This is the first book by this author that i have read but it will certainly not be the last. And although this story was complete in itself, i hope that there is more to come of Amber Payne and her friends. Recommended to all who enjoy their investigative-style science fiction stories both cyber and character rich.
- Norma Miles