Much of the future is the same. People live, marry, die and commit crimes. What changes is the bodies people use throughout their lives. The last thing Envoy Corps specialist Takeshi Kovacs remembers is dying on Harlan's World. He wakes up downloaded in Bay City, Earth, wearing a new body or "sleeve." His assignment: prove his client, Mr. Bancroft, was murdered. But Bancroft is alive. His backup consciousness was immediately uploaded to a replacement sleeve, but it's annoying and he doesn't want a repeat.

Lt. Kristin Ortega, Organic Damage Division of the Bay City Police, is the cop who claimed Bancroft died from suicide. She first hounds Kovacs, but then mutual attraction blurs their roles, distracting them from a danger from Kovacs' past.

Morgan perfectly blends speculative fiction and period noir with his hard-boiled detective, wise-cracking police, dishy dame and murder. His future society and technology is well drawn and plausible, making this a satisfying read. (Mar., 384 pp., $13.95)

Reviewed by: 
Kelly Rae Cooper