Auxiliary: London 2039 by Jon Richter (TCK Publishing, May 1, 2020). Cover uncredited
Jon Richter’s new novel Auxiliary: London 2039 has been described as “a cyberpunk thriller featuring a noir detective” (by the Caffeinated Reviewer). But it was the heading on the back cover (“A good detective is never obsolete”) that really piqued my interest. Here’s an excerpt from the feature review by Roger Hyttinen at Roger Reviews.
It’s a dark combination of the detective noir, cyberpunk, and sci-fi genres. Our main character, Carl Dremmler, is the kind of detective you’d find in a 1940s noir story: he drinks too much, has a painful past, is a bit crass, and picks up strangers for sex (though he often has sex with his personal humanoid robot). I thought the author did a fantastic job of meshing the different genres, and they all worked seamlessly…
The setting for this dystopian thriller is more than a bit disconcerting and grim, taking place in the near future where machines pretty much run the world… Detective Dremmler is called to the scene of a grisly crime. A young man has allegedly murdered his girlfriend by crushing her skull with his cybernetically-controlled prosthetic arm… However, the distraught man protests that the arm, whose chip is controlled by TIM, acted on its own accord and that the man couldn’t stop it… As Dremmler and his partner begin investigating deeper, he soon begins to suspect that there’s a lot more going on here than what he first thought and the case then morphs into something else entirely….
The story was fascinating though certainly dark, creepy, and profoundly unsettling. This book captivated me from beginning to end as the twists started to pile up. I thought this was a blood-chilling roller-coaster ride of a novel that’s both provocative and shocking. Compelling, dark, and intense, this story of technology gone wrong kept me guessing until the end and took me places I very much didn’t expect.
Jon Richter is the author of two horror collections and two crime novels, Deadly Burial and Never Rest. Auxiliary: London 2039 is his science fiction debut. It was published by TCK Publishing on May 1, 2020. It is 223 pages, priced at $14.99 in trade paperback and $2.99 in digital formats.
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