Places in the Darkness – Christopher Brookmyre

5 star
Genre: Science Fiction, Noir
Publisher: Orbit

Hundreds of miles above Earth, the space station Ciudad de Cielo – The City in the Sky – is a beacon of hope for humanity’s expansion into the stars. But not everyone aboard shares such noble ideals.

Bootlegging, booze, and prostitution form a lucrative underground economy for rival gangs, which the authorities are happy to turn a blind eye to until a disassembled corpse is found dancing in the micro-gravity.

In charge of the murder investigation is Nikki “Fix” Freeman, who is not thrilled to have Alice Blake, an uptight government goody-two-shoes, riding shotgun. As the bodies pile up, and the partners are forced to question their own memories, Nikki and Alice begin to realize that gang warfare may not be the only cause for the violence.

Places in the Darkness is a Science Fiction Noir novel that tells the story about the first ever murder on the Ciudad de Cielo, a space station where people volunteer themselves to go work in the hopes of saving money and eventually returning to earth.

The first 100 pages of the novel are slow and slightly clunky. Brookmyre takes his time setting up the world, political field, and characters. Each of these elements plays an important role in the novel, so a certain understanding is imperative to the story as a whole. Once all the pieces are in position, the story is thrilling, twisted, and complex.

Places in the Darkness focuses on two characters, Nikki and Alice.
Nikki was my favourite of the two. She’s corrupt, street smart, and hard. She doesn’t take flack from anyone.
Alice, on the other hand, is the exact opposite. She has a set of ideals that she follows without fail, she’s book smart, and unwavering.
These two very different personalities create an interesting dynamic between the two that is complicated and multifaceted. They play off each other in ways that makes for great reading. As the investigation progresses, their personal codes of conduct clash and they challenge each other’s ideologies.

The mystery itself is the shinning star of this novel. Every layer of the mystery kept me guessing until the final reveal that I did not see coming!

Overall, Places in the Darkness expertly blends two genres and creates a novel worth reading.

***I received an epub from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

2 thoughts on “Places in the Darkness – Christopher Brookmyre

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s