Great North Road

Great North RoadGreat North Road by Peter F. Hamilton

UK hardback edition, signed by the author on the day before publication. 🙂

At just shy of 1100 pages, this is an epic tale. Part police-procedural, part monster-attrition thriller, part space opera set in a future where travel to distant worlds is just a step through the gateway away.

The story opens in January 2143, with the discovery of a body in the Tyne. It was one of the rich North family clones, and he was savagely murdered. Not none of the clones has been reported missing. Even stranger, there was a similar murder twenty years ago, on the distant world of St Libra. Another North billionaire and his whole household. But the murderer, one Angela Tremelo has been in prison for the last twenty years. Perhaps her claims – not believed at the time – that they were the victims of an attack by an alien monster were true? But there was no animal life on St Libra…

So Tremelo is released from prison under guard and taken to St Libra to act as consultant to an expedition to uncover the truth once and for all (shades of Ripley in Aliens there). And before long, people start dying. Has the monster struck again, or is Angela Tremelo just a brutal psychopath? What really happened 20 years ago?

I have to say this book had me completely absorbed from beginning to end. Hamilton weaves a story that is both vast and intricate in its complexity, yet it doesn’t get bogged down. The world-building has a richness and a vibrancy to it; the characters are well-rounded and believable. There are plenty of twists and turns, some predictable, others not, as the story in Newcastle and the story on St Libra cross back and forth and gradually merge together.

Five claw-blade-handed stars from me, sweets.