Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Pg. 99: Warren Hammond's "KOP"

Today's feature at the Page 99 Test: Warren Hammond's KOP.

About the book, from the author's website:
Juno is a dirty cop with a difficult past and an uncertain future. When his family and thousands of others emigrated to the colony world of Lagarto, they were promised a bright future on a planet with a booming economy. But before the colonists arrived, everything changed. An opportunistic Earth-based company developed a way to produce a cheaper version of Lagarto’s main export, thus effectively paupering the planet and all its inhabitants.

Growing up on post-boom Lagarto, Juno is but one of the many who live in despair. Once he was a young cop in the police department of the capital city of Koba. That was before he started taking bribes from Koba’s powerful organized crime syndicate. Yet despite his past sins, some small part of him has not given up hope. So he risks his life, his marriage and his job to expose a cabal that would enslave the planet for its own profit.

But he's got more pressing problems, when he's confronted with a dead man, a short-list of leads, and the obligatory question: who done it? Set up for a fall, partnered with a beautiful young woman whose main job is to betray him, and caught in a squeeze between the police chief and the crooked mayor, Juno is a compelling, sympathetic hero on a world that has no heroes.

An exciting science fiction adventure and a dark, gritty noir thriller told in taut, powerful prose, this is a remarkable debut novel.
Among the early praise for KOP:
“Gritty and steamy, Hammond’s KOP is both a throwback to the glory days of hard-boiled action thrillers and a prescient vision of the next place where technology and human frailties will intersect. Its blood-specked armor-plating gradually -- and impressively -- reveals a genuine heart.”
—K.W. Jeter, bestselling author of Bladerunner 2: The Edge of Human

"Warren Hammond’s KOP is a futuristic techno thriller in a Bogart overcoat. A beautiful first novel, straight out of the dark streets of noir, but kissed with futuristic neon and chrome. Very original and entertaining, and yet somehow pleasingly familiar."
—Joe R. Lansdale, Edgar Award-winning author of The Bottoms

"Gritty, tough, sweaty, with a vivid and well-thought-out backdrop, solid, brutal sleuthing, a deeply flawed but worthy hero and a sequel waiting in the wings: a powerful combination."

"Hammond's gritty, futuristic detective story is full of morally gray characters, ambiguous alliances, necessary betrayals, and a lot of heart. A thrillingly dark read."

"An excellent science fiction mystery of a world-weary and corrupt policeman making a final stand."
Denver Post

"A corrupt policeman, an overgrown jungle city that gets only five hours of sun between 17-hour nights, and battling crime gangs set the extremely noir scene for Hammond's solidly constructed, fast-paced SF debut. Offer[s] rewards to fans of both crime novels and science fiction."
Publishers Weekly

"KOP is about as good as noir crime gets since Dashiell Hammett stopped writing. Yes, I know what I just said."
—David Drake, bestselling author of Hammer’s Slammers and Lacey and His Friends
KOP is Warren Hammond's first novel. Its sequel, Ex-KOP, is due to hit book stores in 2008. Currently, he is writing Tolegate, a science fiction novel independent of the KOP series.

The Page 99 Test: KOP.

--Marshal Zeringue