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Days of Atonement by [Williams, Walter Jon]
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Days of Atonement Kindle Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Williams's ( Angel Station ) flawed futuristic thriller is set at the beginning of the next century, during the "days of atonement" observed by the Church of the Apostles, a period of contemplation, each day devoted to one of the seven deadly sins. Loren Hawn, police chief of Atocha, N.M., is driven by overwhelming rage, religious fervor and the desire to "guard his marriage, his daughters, his community"; he styles himself "the sword and arm of the Lord." Then an experiment at the nearby Advanced Technology Laboratories leaves a body on Loren's doorstep--apparently that of a man who died 20 years ago. As Loren investigates the "John Doe"--is his appearance some sort of miracle?--he gradually comes to believe that he has been betrayed by all he cherished--his family, his town, his church. Ironically, he is right--ATL is involved in a crime--but Loren is over the edge. He is ultimately overtaken by rage and driven to a frenzy of murder and destruction. Although not completely successful in his portrayal of Loren's disintegrating personality, Williams does present a credible exploration of a near-future community.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

The police chief of Atocha, New Mexico finds himself in trouble from all sides when his investigation of an impossible murder forces him to cross wills with a nearby research institute conducting secret experiments involving space and time. The author of Hardwired ( LJ 6/15/86) brings his gift for hardcore realism to this near-future tale of one man's confrontation with the unknown. For most sf collections.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 5128 KB
  • Print Length: 448 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: World Domination, Ltd. (August 2, 2011)
  • Publication Date: August 2, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #291,713 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I read this book while trapped at the Rhine Ordinance Base guarding my Airborne Cavalry Troop's heavy weapons connex as it made its way to eastern afghanistan. 2007 was a helluva year for me, and this book was one of the interesting points. Lorne was a fascinating character, and his shenanigans kept me from losing my mind due to boredom. Imagine being locked in a hangar with nothing but a connex filled with millions of dollars of heavy machine guns, missile launchers, riffles, grenade launchers, no ammo for any of them, and this book.

This book was almost as good as when me and the guys snuck off base and got drunk while watching the premier of Spiderman 3.

But "Emo Spiderman" had nothing on Lorne, or any of the characters in ATL.

Now that I'm out of the army, and know a bit of physics (I'm a scientist), I can firmly say that NOTHING in this story having to do with physics is possible. like, Class III impossibility. But Walter John Williams wrote the novel in such an eloquent and convincing manner that I can go back and read it again without laughing, like some of the genre's aborted attempts to seem scientifically accurate.

Enjoy this book, as I have.
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By A Customer on January 31, 1997
Format: Hardcover
I didn't expect to like this book. In fact, I left it sitting on my pile for months before I gave it a chance. An unlikely combination of police procedural and hard science fiction, this novel somehow manages to pull it all together perfectly, making it one of Williams' best (which is saying a lot). Try it
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
We see Days of Atonement's story through the eyes of the main character, who is a passionate, principled man who is also deeply flawed, deep in denial, and full of rage. His capacity for sudden violence is incredible, and he regularly crosses lines--yet he also cares deeply about order and tradition and community. He actively pursues goodness and redemption in his religion, family, and police work while he is at the same time immersed in a system of casual corruption. The complexity and inherent tensions in this main character forms the gravitational center of this excellent novel, the first I've read by Walter Jon Williams.

Williams masterfully builds the setting of the small New Mexico town and its inhabitants, its history, traditions, and hidden iniquities. The setting is essential to the drama of the story and the motivations of the character, and I found all of it plenty interesting myself. It might be too much setting, background, and character development for someone who is more interested in the speculative ideas, but without this immersion in this tiny town and its inhabitants, we wouldn't understand this character. And many elements important to the plot would have seemed contrived.

Williams knows exactly what he's doing. The technical aspects of the writing and plotting are solid, and the dramatic tension was pretty intense for me. At the same time, the story arises very organically out of this very powerful and complex main character. Williams is steering this thing, but this character drives it.

I suspect that if this book does not satisfy everyone, the dissatisfaction will in some way arise from the way Williams has mixed genres.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Remember the small town cop from the first Rambo movie, First Blood? He's a good comparison of our main character, Loren Hawn, the small town, good ole boy, sheriff who gets things done, even if he has to break a few laws to do it.

He loves his family, his town, his way of life.

But forces come into play that try to upset everything.

Drug dealers, local teen hoodlums, mean drunks, crazy street people, eco-terrorists all turn on Loren and try to change his town and the people he has sworn to protect.

Then there is the strange goings on at the new local Physics lab. William Patience, Hawn's nemesis, is the head of security of the lab and does everything by the book, his book, that is.

On top of all the other problems for Loren there is the Murder. The recent murder of someone who died in a car wreck 20 years before. And Loren is sure Patience and his lab are somehow mixed up in it.

As Loren tries to find the killer many of the towns dark secrets are pushed out into the light. And his hard-knock methods cause his friends to turn on him.

But that's alright, Loren gets things done anyway as he sets out to right wrongs because he is the Sword and Arm of the Lord!

This book shows Walter Jon Williams' versatility as a writer. Although it has Sci-Fi and cyberpunk elements, it's really nothing like my other two favorite books of his, Voice of the Whirlwind, and Hardwired.

If you are fans of those works, be ready for a change of direction.

A fantastic story of one man's fight for what he thinks is right!Days of Atonement
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Now this was one heck of a book! It combined small town shoot em up Police procedural (which takes place in a tiny town in New Mexico), old west style justice with science fiction. This is quite a combination, but it worked well. It was a long book, with an extremely well developed plot. The first part of the book was very slow, but so much needed to be established. Once into the story, it got very exciting. And the ending was mind blowing! Most of the characters were very well developed, however, nobody was really that likable, including our hero Police Chief Loren Hawn. Although he is the person you identify with, and for the most part really care for him, he has the tendency to be over the top when dealing with people he considers threats to "his town". I have never read anything by author Walter Jon Williams before, but would sure like to in the future.
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