Book Review

by Jon Courtenay Grimwood

Genre: Science Fiction, General Science Fiction

RT Rating

Despite an intricate and complex plot seasoned with lots of interesting world-building, Grimwood's latest is curiously wooden, peopled with a mere handful of fascinating characters instead of his usual full complement.

A mysterious man, dubbed Prisoner Zero, tries to assassinate the U.S. president during the first tour of Morocco since Harry Truman's presidency. The West is puzzled, since the current president is intelligent, erudite and well-liked. Who is Prisoner Zero and why did he think he could kill President Newman with an antique
rifle from half a mile away?
The quest for the truth about
Prisoner Zero is at the heart of this complicated novel. He could be
anyone, from a professional assassin
to a lone gunman with a grudge.

Or he could possess the knowledge
of a star drive that could change
the course of human history. It falls
to a psychiatrist to figure out what's
going on in his head. That plot
is interspersed with scenes of a
reincarnated Forbidden City, a Marrakech slum and the denizens
thereof. (BANTAM SPECTRA, Sep., 384
pp., $12.00)

Reviewed By: Natalie A. Luhrs

Publisher: Bantam Spectra

Published: September 2006

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