Bob Howard is an IT expert and occasional field agent for the Laundry, the branch of Her Majesty’s Secret Service that deals with occult threats. Dressed (grudgingly) in a tux and sent to the Caribbean, he must infiltrate a millionaire’s yacht in order to prevent him from violating a treaty that will bring down the wrath of an ancient underwater race upon humanity’s head.
I met Stross in a crypt in London several years ago. He was unknown to me as an author, so I brashly asked him what he’d written. He politely told me “quite a lot” and he suggested I start with Halting State. I’ve been a fan ever since.
I enjoyed the first book in this series – but I found this one a bit hard going.
The outdated tech is fun – in a retrotastic sort of way. The fact that it is suffused with an outdated male gaze is less so. It’s a self-admitted James Bond knock-off, but it is basically a rehash of the first book.
I mostly love Stross’s writing – Rule 34 can’t be beat – but this was a rare exception.