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Great North Road Hardcover

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 976 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey (January 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 034552666X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345526663
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.6 x 2.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (365 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #119,507 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Hamilton's stand-alone near-future mystery is a mesmerizing page-turner whose pace never lags despite the book's substantial length. In 2143, Newcastle police detective Sidney Hurst realizes that a naked corpse dragged from the river was a member of the North family. Clones Augustine, Bartram, and Constantine North founded a company that invested in trans-spatial connection, a technology that opened gateways to other star systems and expanded humanity's access to energy and living space. They cloned themselves in turn, by the hundreds. The wounds on the dead North, whose exact identity is vexingly hard to pin down, match those on Bartram's body after he and his household were slaughtered in 2121—and Angela Tramelo, convicted of those murders, always claimed that an alien monster was the real culprit. The intense whodunit plot and the sustained ambiguity about Tramelo's innocence or guilt are enhanced by plausible extrapolations of 22nd-century human cultures. Agent: James MacDonald Lockhart, Antony Harwood Ltd. (Jan.)

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Hamilton, the increasingly popular British science-fiction writer, tends to write long, but he also writes well. Someone else might have told this story in half the space, but it probably wouldn’t have been nearly as good. The story is simple enough: in the year 2143, a man is murdered, and Sidney Hurst, the detective assigned to the case, must wade through the evidence to find the culprit. Well, wade isn’t exactly the word, because the evidence is pretty sparse. Physical traces of the murderer are virtually nonexistent, the scene of the crime is unknown (the body was dumped), and even the victim’s identity is a mystery. Hurst knows the dead man is a North, a member of an extended family of clones, but nobody seems to be able to figure out which of the many hundreds of Norths he might be. Oh, and there’s also the tantalizing possibility that the unknown killer might be the same creature that slaughtered another North and 13 other people two decades ago. And that’s just the setup of this epic-size SF mystery (which morphs, the deeper you go into the story, into something else entirely). The author’s rapidly growing legion of fans will flock to this new title, and readers unfamiliar with Hamilton’s brand of SF should be steered in its direction. It’s a perfect introduction to his gifts for character design, dialogue, and sheer, big-idea-driven storytelling. --David Pitt

More About the Author

Peter F. Hamilton was born in Rutland in 1960, and still lives near Rutland Water. His previous novels are the Greg Mandel series and the bestselling 'Night's Dawn' trilogy: The Reality Dysfunction , The Neutronium Alchemist and The Naked God. Also published by Macmillan (and Pan) is A Second Chance at Eden, a novella and six short stories, and The Confederation Handbook, a vital guide to the 'Night's Dawn' trilogy. His most recent novels were Fallen Dragon, Misspent Youth, Pandora's Star and Judas Unchained.

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Customer Reviews

Some nice surprise plot twists and very well written characters.
D. Rosing
In "Great North Road," author Peter F. Hamilton imagines a world that feels like a believable possiblity.
This was a really enjoyable book - lots happens, it felt like reading a longer series.
Michael Tomlinson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

70 of 82 people found the following review helpful By J. de Nys on September 28, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
For some reason this was delivered to my Kindle account a week before the release date. Mind you, I'm not complaining! I am a huge Peter F Hamilton fan and have been since reading the Reality Dysfunction. I love sprawling high-tech space opera.

This book gets off to a slow start, as if the author went in thinking "I do fat books, I have loyal fans, I can afford to take my time with some stodgy police procedural material" but it builds up from there and by the end I was losing sleep, reading to uncover all of the plot twists and find out whodunnit. Some of the twists I feel were telegraphed well ahead of time and I'm not usually the most astute when it comes to guessing plot outcomes. From about two thirds in the Author drip feeds revelations and there was at least one point where I thought "Gah! Not another flashback!"

It doesn't give anything away to say that Hamilton has created a human future not unlike the Commonwealth books, the planets are linked by portals for example and some of the military parts reminded me of Fallen Dragon. A critic might say that he assembled a book from all of the ideas left over from previous writings.

There were plot holes, not that I'll spoil them, just that it seemed like some of the problems that the protagonists faced could have been overcome with the technology that they had available to them. In some places the biological explanations for things seemed off, eg there is a family of clones who, when they breed with a normal person, produce another clone of themselves because their genes are 'dominant'.

Rereading the above, I sound a little harsh for a book I really enjoyed! I did love most of the characters and Hamilton wrote the action and dialogue well. Maybe if he'd trimmed it down a little or made it a pair of books it would have been a 5.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Jay VINE VOICE on March 14, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Few authors can carry a near 1,000 page novel and keep the reader's interest throughout. In Hamilton's latest offering he gives us two story lines to follow that ultimately converge. Several other reviewers indicated that they did not care for the "investigation" track of the story. Being a police officer myself, and having moved up the ranks, I found it fascinating and very much on target. Hamilton manages to convey the desire and will of the detectives, the reality and hurdles of politics to the investigation and the realistic personalities of the investigators and bureaucrats - not an easy task!! On top of that, he shows how they meld work with the rest of their lives. Without giving away plot or spoilers, I can say that this story involves other worlds, aliens, advanced technology and a world view that continues to intrigue long after one finishes the story. Even better, this book brings the whole story to conclusion in a way that leaves the reader fulfilled. Questions are answered and the conflicts are laid to rest. This story was all I could ask for. I highly recommend this book!!

All the best,

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Js Banks on July 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover
So Many publishers force authors to split big books into 3 parts to increase profits. Here you have an epic, a saga, in one long, enjoyable book. There is no year-long wait for the next installment; no trying to remember the story, no "housekeeping" (as John Sandford calls it) repetition to bring new readers up to speed.

This is a SciFi epic with big ideas. This is a police procedural as we follow the (sometimes plodding) steps to uncover a strange murder. This is a soap opera about a dispossessed spoiled rich girl and her life journey. This is a survival story in a harsh environment, wherein a "10-little-indian" drama plays out. You need a big, long book to pack in all the plots.

There is family life described in this book, and not a bleak one of whiny children and unloving spouses. Folks are, for the most part, pretty decent. I weary of people oppressed in life and love. Optimism is what I want at the core of things.

And Hamilton really forgets nothing. That knock-out potion used 400 pages ago? Aha, now we know what our heroine was doing instead of seducing a soldier. The reason for The Big Scam that ended up sending someone to prison for 20 years? We find out what the money was for so much later, but we do find out, and it was worth the wait. How and why was a main character genetically modified? What does it mean? --- all will be revealed. If there were any loose ends or mistakes in this complex interplay of plots, I could not find it.

Often I am irritated when an author withholds information, but Hamilton does it the right way, letting his universe-building proceed in an unforced and entertaining way.

Another pleasure is the windup. No abrupt ending here. Instead, a stately and satisfying explanation of "what happened then".

Still a little too long, but a pleasure.
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24 of 30 people found the following review helpful By reader 451 on October 12, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
For a novel that combines thriller and science-fiction tale in one, read Hamilton's The Great North Road. Blending a detective story based in Newcastle and a wild alien chase across the twenty-second century planetary colony of St Libra, it is an anxiety-packed page-turner. I found this novel more compact and coherent, indeed, than the absorbing but sometimes sprawling Void trilogy. Even at 1,000+ pages, this doorstopper does not waste a line. At the same time, it (almost) achieves the imaginative range that makes earlier Hamilton books such good reading.

Space colonisation has begun: not by spaceship, but through teleportation gateways. St Libra is one of the new worlds, mined for a bio-fuel it would cost too much to produce on Earth. And atop the highly lucrative trade sits Northumbrian Interstellar and the North family, a multi-generation crowd of over two hundred clones. But a North has been murdered in the streets of Newcastle. The circumstances, moreover, recall a mass-killing that occurred twenty years before on St Libra, and in which the main suspect, Angela Tramelo, blamed an unlikely humanoid alien. Angela is promptly freed, but this is only to pack her off on a massive scientific and military mission to comb the vast and unforgiving St Libra jungle for the predator. Meanwhile, humanity is, on its new worlds, under assault from the un-definable Zanth, stellar-scale swarms that are neither animal nor mineral, nor perhaps even composed of ordinary matter, yet sweep whole worlds before them.
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