This is a great book… Its a hardboiled detective novel, but with a science fiction twist. The universe its set in is also pretty interesting, and I’m sure the follow up books are good too. The human backup element reminds me of Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, but in a way that’s different enough that they’re not the same story. I really enjoyed this book.
Four hundred years from now mankind is strung out across a region of interstellar space inherited from an ancient civilization discovered on Mars. The colonies are linked together by the occasional sublight colony ship voyages and hyperspatial data-casting. Human consciousness is digitally freighted between the stars and downloaded into bodies as a matter of course. But some things never change. So when ex-envoy, now-convict Takeshi Kovacs has his consciousness and skills downloaded into the body of a nicotine-addicted ex-thug and presented with a catch-22 offer, he really shouldn¿t be surprised. Contracted by a billionaire to discover who murdered his last body, Kovacs is drawn into a terrifying conspiracy that stretches across known space and to the very top of society. For a first-time SF writer to be so surely in command of narrative and technology, so brilliant at world-building, so able to write such readable and enjoyable SF adventure, is simply extraordinary.