From Publishers Weekly
Blackthorne (a pseudonym for John Meaney) follows 2010's Edge with another over-the-top near-future action-adventure romp featuring retired British special forces operative Josh Cumberland. So-called Cutter Circles have been springing up: 13 dead teens in a circle, each cutting the wrists of the next. The teens don't know one another, and news blackouts mean that they can't be copycats. Cumberland, emotionally fragile since his daughter's death, begins fitting pieces together as he tracks a scientist's disappearance. Meanwhile, his girlfriend, Suzanne, an expert in psychosemantics who can modify behavior with a word, gets called in by MI5 to consult on the case. Their separate investigations become all the more urgent when someone they know, Opal, cuts herself as part of a failed Cutter Circle that provides valuable clues. The action moves so quickly that the overwritten prose and flat characterization barely register. (Mar.)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Praise for Thomas Blackthorne's previous work:
"[He] has rewired SF. Everything is different now." - Stephen Baxter
"Blackthorne is such a fine writer. Josh Cumberland leaps off the page; the depiction of his simmering rage, barely held in check, and how he channels it, provides a masterclass in characterisation." - The Guardian
"I absolutely don’t want to live in the world Blackthorne has created. I didn’t want to in Edge
(the first book in the series) and I most certainly don’t want to now. I do, however, want to read about it. It’s relentless and gripping, with a brilliant balance between the personal and the political. Not a book for readers who like gentle meadows scattered with bright yellow daisies and lolloping bunnies." - Gillian Polack, Biblio Buffet