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Halting State, Charles Stross

Halting State by Charles Stross

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Although interested in its second-person, present-tense style, I might have given up by page 80 if I hadn’t been into one or any of RPGs, computer programming or TLAs. Which would have been a pity because the story is a neat twist on a whodunit: the sleuth has to enter a computer game to follow the trail of the crime. It also helps to know Edinburgh where the real-world action takes place.

The writing is clever and littered with in-jokes, which will annoy people who don’t like that. I like it. The other problem is that all three PoVs sound like the author and therefore similar. It’s hard to have any empathy for these people. But as a techno-thriller, that may not be so important.

I lost the plot several chapters before the end but wasn’t too fussed because of my lack of engagement with the protagonists. I got through to the end on autopilot.

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