Hollis Henry worked for the global marketing magnate Hubertus Bigend once before. She never meant to repeat the experience. But she's broke, and Bigend never feels it's beneath him to use whatever power comes his way - in this case, the power of money to bring Hollis onto his team again. Not that she knows what the "team" is up to - not at first.
Milgrim is even more thoroughly owned by Bigend. He's worth owning for his useful gift of seeming to disappear in almost any setting, and his Russian is perfectly idiomatic - so much so that he spoke Russian with his therapist in the secret Swiss clinic where Bigend paid for him to be cured of the addiction that would have killed him.
Garreth has a passion for extreme sports. Most recently he jumped off the highest building in the world, opening his chute at the last moment. He has a new thighbone made of rattan baked into bone - entirely experimental - to show for it. Garreth isn't owned by Bigend at all. Garreth has friends from whom he can call in the kinds of favours that a man like Bigend finds he needs when things go unexpectedly sideways in a world a man like Bigend is accustomed to controlling.
This is the case when a Department of Defence contract for combat-wear turns out to be the gateway drug for arms dealers so shadowy that even Bigend, whose subtlety and power in the private sector would be hard to overstate, finds himself outmanoeuvred and adrift in a seriously dangerous world.
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Very enjoyable conclusion to Blue Ant series
Less futuristic or dystopian than his pervious novels, this book is a form of contemporary thriller, but as Gibson himself says for any reader "who's about to get on a 12hr flight and buys a copy Zero History expecting Clancy, they're going to be very, very disappointed" Slightly biased possibly as I work in the field Gibson describes in this book, I'm struck how he maintains an uncanny knack throughout the Blue Ant series to so accurately caricature the authentic essence of the dysfunctional and sometimes sinisterly powerful creative industries in a loosely charming way and with classic Gibson-esque prose and style found in his previous books.Once your used to Robertson Dean's voice-it took some getting used to in the last book (Spook Country)- you realise h'e the best man for the job. Really enjoyable, beautifully written and a decent length.
- Old and grey