Takeshi Kovacs, P.I., has a personal vendetta. In a space-age future where trading in a worn-out body is as easy as trading in an old car, a fanatical religious fundamentalist group has forced the permanent death of an old girlfriend and her child. Vengeful, wounded and on the run, Tak finds himself hunted by a skilled assassin--an illegal copy of his younger, nastier self in a brand-new body.

Soon he's entangled with a deCom squad that's hunting sentient weapon systems and forcing their destruction, a woman who may or may not be the reincarnation of a passionate revolutionary leader and a planned assault on an island fortress.

This science-fiction James Bond adventure is full of twists and turns, surprise attacks, nifty technology and grisly violence. Fans of classic noir will recognize the style and find it eminently readable, and space-opera readers will be engrossed as well. Great plotting and a satisfying resolution make this an enjoyable, if somewhat gory, read. Although Morgan's vision of the future isn't a pleasant one, there is a note of optimism in this novel that the previous ones lack, making it that much more compelling. (Oct., 464 pp., $24.95)

Reviewed by: 
Jen Talley Exum