Artemis Bridge can get you what you need no matter how immoral or illegal, no questions asked. With practiced detachment, he keeps everyone around him at arm's length. But when the city of Boulder is trapped in a mysterious dome, he must set aside his detachment to help his bodyguard Aristotle's search for his missing grandmother. Every step he takes towards the dome deepens the mystery, as he is compelled to seek out the source of the strange happenings. Flaming dragons, cars transformed into robotic golems, a corporate-military quarantine and disturbing visions drive Bridge to a life-altering conclusion.
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'Some one...must really want us to get to Boulder"
Second in the slightly futuristic (2028) series in which corporations rather than government administers most of public life, the fixer (" I know a guy") Artemis Bridge again finds his skills in demand. He and his friend, Stonewall, and bodyguard, Aristotle, travel to Boulder, drawn there by an incessant disruption of Bridge's neural link which repeats the town's name and Aristotle's fears for his grandmother's life after news reports of an explosion there. Boulder appears to be covered by an impenetrable dome. No one knows how or why. Only Bridge can get in.
The trademark fast action and quick repartee are all here combining in a strange mystery thriller. And the weird just gets weirder with an airborne dragon, a football match between teams in Liverpool and Manchester United strips but the players made up of old bits of metal, a flying Chinese scientist, ghosts and hand thrown bolts of blue energy. It is all great fun. But there is a more serious side here, too, with the philosophical friends debating the failures of communism and capitalism, an at least partial explanation of the science behind the occurrences and, although not part of the actual story, an introduction in which the author bemoans the recent passing by the Supreme Court of a bill allowing corporations to advertise as much as they like, hinting that this is just a step towards the world in which Bridge lives.
The narrator, as always, is superb. Joe Hempel matches the pace of the story and every character has an individual and easily recognisable voice. His tackling of female dialogue is especially impressive and could easily be mistaken for a female reader. He brings the whole book to life.Whilst I preferred the first in the Bridge Chronicles series, the Know Circuit is still great fun and definitely different. I'm looking forward to book Three. I just hope that Aristotle will still be there.
- Norma Miles