Just... just wow.
I'll explain - any experienced Shadowrun fan will tell you that, by and large, most Shadowrun fiction of old isn't that great. There are some truly fantastic books, but most are actually quite middling at best, with a focus on quantity. This was common in many tabletop RPG houses back in the late 80s and 90s - more books, rather than less books with a higher quality.
This is not one of those books.
To start with, Catalyst have collected and published a truly very high quality set of novels for the new Shadowrun line - fantastic stuff, guys! Keep at it! Better late than never. I'm thoroughly enjoying the past year, even if it's not actually the right year.
Anyways, this is the veritable cherry on top - hardboiled detective fiction (in an urban near-future fantasy world), far more Marlowe than Dresden or even Nigel Findley's (RIP) Dirk Montgomery. And it works, with deep character development, a very well crafted Mary Sue motif that spins around itself to reveal humanity at its flawed core.
Hardboiled, action, a pretty awesome detective story, and great character design, never mind the writing quality (which is superb). This is quite possibly the best Shadowrun novel I've read in my life - a position I once firmly gave to Findley's 2XS.
If you're a Shadowrun fan, go buy and read this.
If you're a detective fiction fan, go buy and read this.
Cyberpunk fan? Like urban fantasy? Yeah, you should probably buy and read this, too.
Heck, want to experience something new? Yeah, probably not the best introduction to the setting, but get it anyway - we'll talk about ironing out the background info post-fact once you're hooked.
Want a smaller sample? Go and snag Neat by the same author - great novella, and it ties into the same locations, characters, and story as this novel. In fact, go get that one either way.
Mr. Zimmerman, I have no idea why CGL have been basically hiding you until relatively recently. I realize that writing novels isn't much of a stable day job, but you should really be doing a lot more of it.
Thanks for a wonderful experience, and keep up the good work. Looking forward to anything else of yours that may hit the market.
[5 of 5 Stars!]