October 7th, 2012


Book Review: Necropolis, by Michael Dempsey

2054 New York City has flying cars and reanimated dead celebrities in this attempt to blend William Gibson and Raymond Chandler.


Night Shade Books, 2011, 320 pages

Paul Donner is a NYPD detective with a drinking problem and a marriage on the rocks. Then he and his wife get dead – shot to death in a “random” crime. 50 years later, Donner’s back – revived by the Shift, a process that reanimates dead DNA.

The Shift has turned the world upside down. This new “reborn” underclass is not only alive again, they’re growing younger. Beneath the protective geodesic Blister, clocks run backwards, technology is hidden behind a noir facade, and you can see Bogart and DiCaprio in The Maltese Falcon III.

In this retro-futurist world of flying Studebakers and plasma tommy guns, Donner searches for those responsible for the destruction of his life. His quest for retribution leads him to the heart of the mystery surrounding the Shift’s origin and up against those who would use it to control a terrified nation.

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Verdict: Necropolis tries to be hard-boiled SF noir, like a cross between Harry Dresden and Bladerunner. It would have been awfully cool if it had succeeded. It winds up being a hash of the worst aspects of Jim Butcher's writing and Sin City.

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