SciFi Book Review: Red Planet Blues

Red Planet Blues by Robert J. Sawyer

Alex Lomax is the one and only private eye working the mean streets of New Klondike, the Martian frontier town that sprang up forty years ago after Simon Weingarten and Denny O’Reilly discovered fossils on the Red Planet. Back on Earth, where anything can be synthesized, the remains of alien life are the most valuable of all collectibles, so shiploads of desperate treasure hunters stampeded to Mars in the Great Martian Fossil Rush.

Trying to make an honest buck in a dishonest world, Lomax tracks down killers and kidnappers among the failed prospectors, corrupt cops, and a growing population of transfers—lucky stiffs who, after striking paleontological gold, upload their minds into immortal android bodies. But when he uncovers clues to solving the decades-old murders of Weingarten and O’Reilly, along with a journal that may lead to their legendary mother lode of Martian fossils, God only knows what he’ll dig up…

Lomax is a typical private investigator in the strange environment of Mars, where everyone wants to be a treasure hunter. And anyone who can afford it trades their body in for an almost indestructible synthetic one. Lomax is still fully human, however, making him extremely vulnerable in dangerous situations.

Red Planet Blues is a noir-like mystery set on Mars. While Lomax’s first case of the novel seems to wrap up fairly quickly, it soon sets in motion a complex series of events and a deeper mystery. Mystery and science fiction fans alike will enjoy this fast-paced adventure. Gritty and a bit dark, this thriller is a fun read with plenty of surprises along the way.

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