Aphelion Review #8
By Jonathan Lyons
Review by Dan L. Hollifield
Type of music/work: First Novel
Published by Domhan Books
General impressions of the album/book:Within three pages I was hooked, someone ought to make a movie out of this book! Sci-Fi Noir has been waiting for this book to be written.
A Frankfurt Awards Nominee, "Burn" is a really good read. I was quickly caught up in Mr. Lyons work and was truly sad when the mystery was solved and the book ended. I wanted more! I'll just have to wait until Jonathan's next book.
This particular genre isn't easy to write within, nor is it forgiving, but Mr. Lyons makes it look easy. That takes talent. He's written a plausable future culture that's all too real not to be frightening and seamlessly blended it with the classic Noir ex-cop/PI/street-smart character. Speaking as someone who has written in the genre, I'm jealous!
His background culture is easily accepted, given the current tech and directions of real research, and a bit more public displays of greed by present multi-national companies than we actually witness in the real world. His future New York could so easily be possible. His detective is a well developed character out of classic noir-- even if stripped of its futuristic trappings, the story would work quite well. The supporting cast of characters is very strong, even the minor players are smoothly written and believeable. These people aren't cardboard cutouts, they make the reader care about them. The different elements of his future society are not too far removed from the present day
And the puzzle itself? The mystery and murders to be solved are quite well plotted and fun to read. The reader isn't telegraphed any clues, they present themselves in a logical fashion and one builds upon another. In the best noir tradition, there is a romance brewing, and this also adds to the believeability of the characters. The murder weapon is almost unique. I've only seen one other like it in 35 years of reading.
On the whole, I'm looking forward to more novels from Mr. Lyons, and I think that we'll be seeing more of his work soon.
Review Copyright 2000 by Dan L. Hollifield
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