Verdict: GAME THEORY is both a thoroughly enjoyable mystery and a thought-provoking look at what our world might look like in fifty - or maybe twenty - years.
In future Chicago, corporations own and run the city, and the police department is a subsidiary of the most powerful corporation of all, Unitex Corp, which also makes the implant chips that link people to the WorldNet. Jack Waldron is a cop working for Unitex – but the loss of his wife and daughter have sent him into an alcoholic downward spiral, and his career and well-being are going down the tubes with him. When his ex-wife is found dead, the case seems open-and-shut – the entire murder was recorded, after all, and the identity and motives of the murderer seem perfectly clear. But Jack senses that there’s more going on here than appears on the surface. Can he track down the real facts behind the case before he destroys his own career – or gets himself killed?
GAME THEORY is a fast-paced, entertaining mystery set in an all-too-believable near-future world. The author has clearly done some substantial thinking about how human society interacts with technology, and what the real dangers of those interactions might be. There are some chilling prospects here, but nothing that doesn’t make sense or can’t be extrapolated from current trends in human technology or society.
The world-building is done without too much explication, but it is clear and vivid enough to seem real, and the people involved react realistically and sensibly to the world around them. All the characters, even minor characters, are three-dimensional and understandable, some of them with intriguing secrets that help further the plot, or turn it in new directions. Jack, as the hardboiled, alcoholic Cop With A Tragic Past, is perhaps a bit stereotyped, but there’s a reason the stereotype exists, and he is a well-designed and sympathetic representative of that trope. The plot is vigorous and fast-paced, and the story intriguing. Some parts of the mystery are telegraphed a bit too much from the start, perhaps, but there are enough twists and turns to keep things lively and engaging until the last line.
GAME THEORY is both a thoroughly enjoyable mystery and a thought-provoking look at what our world might look like in fifty – or maybe twenty – years.
~Catherine Langrehr for IndieReader