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Great North Road
Cover of Great North Road
Great North Road
Borrow Borrow
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
New York Times bestselling author Peter F. Hamilton’s riveting new thriller combines the nail-biting suspense of a serial-killer investigation with clear-eyed scientific and social extrapolation to create a future that seems not merely plausible but inevitable.
 
A century from now, thanks to a technology allowing instantaneous travel across light-years, humanity has solved its energy shortages, cleaned up the environment, and created far-flung colony worlds. The keys to this empire belong to the powerful North family—composed of successive generations of clones. Yet these clones are not identical. For one thing, genetic errors have crept in with each generation. For another, the original three clone “brothers” have gone their separate ways, and the branches of the family are now friendly rivals more than allies.
 
Or maybe not so friendly. At least that’s what the murder of a North clone in the English city of Newcastle suggests to Detective Sidney Hurst. Sid is a solid investigator who’d like nothing better than to hand off this hot potato of a case. The way he figures it, whether he solves the crime or not, he’ll make enough enemies to ruin his career.
 
Yet Sid’s case is about to take an unexpected turn: because the circumstances of the murder bear an uncanny resemblance to a killing that took place years ago on the planet St. Libra, where a North clone and his entire household were slaughtered in cold blood. The convicted slayer, Angela Tramelo, has always claimed her innocence. And now it seems she may have been right. Because only the St. Libra killer could have committed the Newcastle crime.
 
Problem is, Angela also claims that the murderer was an alien monster.
 
Now Sid must navigate through a Byzantine minefield of competing interests within the police department and the world’s political and economic elite . . . all the while hunting down a brutal killer poised to strike again. And on St. Libra, Angela, newly released from prison, joins a mission to hunt down the elusive alien, only to learn that the line between hunter and hunted is a thin one.
BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Peter F. Hamilton’s The Abyss Beyond Dreams.

Praise for Great North Road
 
“A mesmerizing page-turner.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)
 
“A gripping saga that blends wilderness survival, police procedural, political and social intrigue, and dynastic sf into a mammoth tale featuring believable characters and exceptionally skilled storytelling.”Library Journal (starred review)
 
“A perfect introduction to [Hamilton’s] gifts for character design, dialogue, and sheer, big-idea-driven storytelling.”Booklist (starred review)
 
“Compelling and original . . . an awesome novel [with] plenty of action.”—SFRevu
 
“One very compelling and entertaining science fiction novel.”—SF Site
 
“Simply brilliant . . . an astonishing achievement.”—Tor.com
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
New York Times bestselling author Peter F. Hamilton’s riveting new thriller combines the nail-biting suspense of a serial-killer investigation with clear-eyed scientific and social extrapolation to create a future that seems not merely plausible but inevitable.
 
A century from now, thanks to a technology allowing instantaneous travel across light-years, humanity has solved its energy shortages, cleaned up the environment, and created far-flung colony worlds. The keys to this empire belong to the powerful North family—composed of successive generations of clones. Yet these clones are not identical. For one thing, genetic errors have crept in with each generation. For another, the original three clone “brothers” have gone their separate ways, and the branches of the family are now friendly rivals more than allies.
 
Or maybe not so friendly. At least that’s what the murder of a North clone in the English city of Newcastle suggests to Detective Sidney Hurst. Sid is a solid investigator who’d like nothing better than to hand off this hot potato of a case. The way he figures it, whether he solves the crime or not, he’ll make enough enemies to ruin his career.
 
Yet Sid’s case is about to take an unexpected turn: because the circumstances of the murder bear an uncanny resemblance to a killing that took place years ago on the planet St. Libra, where a North clone and his entire household were slaughtered in cold blood. The convicted slayer, Angela Tramelo, has always claimed her innocence. And now it seems she may have been right. Because only the St. Libra killer could have committed the Newcastle crime.
 
Problem is, Angela also claims that the murderer was an alien monster.
 
Now Sid must navigate through a Byzantine minefield of competing interests within the police department and the world’s political and economic elite . . . all the while hunting down a brutal killer poised to strike again. And on St. Libra, Angela, newly released from prison, joins a mission to hunt down the elusive alien, only to learn that the line between hunter and hunted is a thin one.
BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Peter F. Hamilton’s The Abyss Beyond Dreams.

Praise for Great North Road
 
“A mesmerizing page-turner.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)
 
“A gripping saga that blends wilderness survival, police procedural, political and social intrigue, and dynastic sf into a mammoth tale featuring believable characters and exceptionally skilled storytelling.”Library Journal (starred review)
 
“A perfect introduction to [Hamilton’s] gifts for character design, dialogue, and sheer, big-idea-driven storytelling.”Booklist (starred review)
 
“Compelling and original . . . an awesome novel [with] plenty of action.”—SFRevu
 
“One very compelling and entertaining science fiction novel.”—SF Site
 
“Simply brilliant . . . an astonishing achievement.”—Tor.com
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Excerpts-
  • Chapter One Sunday, January 13, 2143 

    As midnight approached, the wild neon colors of the borealis storm came shimmering through the soft snow falling gently across Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. It was as if nature were partying along with the rest of the city, providing a jade-and-carmine light show far more elegant than any of the fireworks that had been bursting sporadically above the rooftops since Friday.

    Detective Third Grade Sidney Hurst watched batches of late-night revelers staggering along the frozen pavement, calling out greetings or challenges depending on how toxed up they were. Ice, snow, and slush played havoc with the smartdust embedded in the tarmac, blacking out whole sections of the metamesh that governed the city’s roads and therefore making driving with the vehicle’s smartauto a dangerous gamble. Sid was steering the unmarked police car manually, but with the auto managing wheel torque on the slippery road. Their snow tires provided reasonable traction, adding to stability and allowing him to make a decent thirty-five kilometers per hour along Collingwood Street past the cathedral. Radar kept throwing proximity symbols across the windshield, designating a warning for the long filthy dunes of snow that the civic snowplows had thrown off the center of the road.

    It had been snowing for two days now, and with the midday temperature spike sticking stubbornly below ten degrees there had been no thaw, allowing the elegant stone Georgian buildings of the city center to become cloaked in Dickensian yuletide splendor. Another proximity warning flashed scarlet, outlining a man running across the road directly in front of the car, laughing and jeering as Sid veered sharply around him. One last obscene gesture, and he was claimed by the swirling snow.

    “He’ll never last till dawn,” Ian Lanagin claimed from the front passenger seat.

    Sid glanced over at his partner. “Just another two-oh-one file,” he agreed. “Welcome back, me.”

    “Aye, man, some Sunday-night reunion this is.”

    It was crazy so many people being out in this weather; though for once Newcastle’s traditional nightclub dress code of T-shirt for the boys and short skirt with glitter heels for the girls had vanished under thick ankle-length coats. It was that cold. He’d even glimpsed a few sensible hats, which was almost a first in the fifteen years he’d been with the Newcastle police. Even now—married with two kids, a career that wasn’t quite as dynamic as he’d originally envisioned—he was slightly surprised he was still in Newcastle. He’d followed a girl up here from London, where—like every twenty-something law graduate—he’d been arrowing down the smart and fast career path, alternating jobs between police and private security as if he were an electron bouncing between junction gates. To consummate the grand romantic gesture he applied for a transfer to the local city police, where the career track was equally valid for a couple of years, and the nights could still be spent in bed with Jacinta. Now, fifteen years’ worth of Siberian winters and Saharan summers later, he was still here, married to Jacinta (which at least showed good judgment), with two kids and a career that had taken the kind of direction he’d always sneered at during those long-distant university years when he had passion and conviction and contempt for the way of a world screwed up by the current generation in power and the omnipresent lurking evil of the Zanth. Now experience and its associate wisdom had flicked him onto the more rational track of time-serving and...
About the Author-
  • Peter F. Hamilton is the author of numerous novels, including The Evolutionary Void, The Temporal Void, The Dreaming Void, Judas Unchained, Pandora’s Star, Fallen Dragon, and the acclaimed epic Night’s Dawn trilogy (The Reality Dysfunction, The Neutronium Alchemist, and The Naked God). He lives with his family in England.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from October 1, 2012
    Hamilton’s stand-alone near-future mystery is a mesmerizing page-turner whose pace never lags despite the book’s substantial length. In 2143, Newcastle police detective Sidney Hurst realizes that a naked corpse dragged from the river was a member of the North family. Clones Augustine, Bartram, and Constantine North founded a company that invested in trans-spatial connection, a technology that opened gateways to other star systems and expanded humanity’s access to energy and living space. They cloned themselves in turn, by the hundreds. The wounds on the dead North, whose exact identity is vexingly hard to pin down, match those on Bartram’s body after he and his household were slaughtered in 2121—and Angela Tramelo, convicted of those murders, always claimed that an alien monster was the real culprit. The intense whodunit plot and the sustained ambiguity about Tramelo’s innocence or guilt are enhanced by plausible extrapolations of 22nd-century human cultures. Agents: James MacDonald Lockhart, Antony Harwood Ltd. (U.K.); Anthony Gardner, Gardner Literary (U.S.).

  • Kirkus

    October 15, 2012
    Part murder mystery, part alien-contact thriller, Hamilton's latest doorstopper (The Evolutionary Void, 2010, etc.) takes place in the early 23rd century when, thanks to the invention of wormhole technology, distant planets have been discovered and colonized. On St. Libra, a world of advanced plants but curiously no animals, not even insects, huge "bioil" farms produce the gasoline that, pumped via wormhole to Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in northeast England, feeds Earth's insatiable appetite for petroleum products. Instrumental in all this is the powerful North family, three generations of clones whose original three clone brothers have developed a friendly rivalry. Predictably, then, when the corpse of a North is found floating in the River Tyne, the Norths and other powers that be take a strong and immediate interest. Capable detective Sidney Hurst doesn't want the case--he can't stand the politics, and this figures to be nothing but. Yet, there are intriguing aspects: The North cannot be identified, and nobody admits to having mislaid one; and the murder method is--almost unique. Twenty years ago on St. Libra, another North clone and his entire household were slaughtered by the same grisly means. The convicted murderer, Angela Tramelo, who was working in the house as a prostitute, protested her innocence. Problem was, she claimed the killer was an alien monster. So now, Sidney confronts the possibility that a monster is loose in his city. Meanwhile, a military expedition is hurriedly organized and sent to St. Libra with Angela (who's by no means as innocent as she seems) aboard, but it runs into terrifying complications. Hamilton's development proceeds in familiar fashion: complicated but well-articulated plotting, life-sized main characters, intriguing extrapolation, plenty of crisp action and padding--via barely relevant subplots, long chunks of scene-setting and bizarrely verbose introductions to bit players that even regulars will skim or skip. One of Hamilton's better outings, caveats and all.

    COPYRIGHT(2012) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Library Journal

    Starred review from November 15, 2012

    In the 22nd century, bioil (plant-based fuel) dominates the economy, with off-planet sources providing most of the supply. When an apparently invisible monster stalks a scientific expedition investigating a largely unexplored but resource-filled planet, a 22-year-old murder case may hold the answers that can save the lives of the exploratory team and bring justice to a woman perhaps wrongly convicted of mass murder. The author of the Void Trilogy (The Dreaming Void; The Temporal Void; The Evolutionary Void) has written a gripping saga that blends wilderness survival, police procedural, political and social intrigue, and dynastic sf into a mammoth tale featuring believable characters and exceptionally skilled storytelling. VERDICT Hamilton excels at telling "big" stories, and his latest novel proves no exception. A stand-alone thriller with potential for multivolume expansions set in an all-too-believable future, this should appeal to a wide audience and have crossover potential for mainstream thriller fans.

    Copyright 2012 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from November 1, 2012
    Hamilton, the increasingly popular British science-fiction writer, tends to write long, but he also writes well. Someone else might have told this story in half the space, but it probably wouldn't have been nearly as good. The story is simple enough: in the year 2143, a man is murdered, and Sidney Hurst, the detective assigned to the case, must wade through the evidence to find the culprit. Well, wade isn't exactly the word, because the evidence is pretty sparse. Physical traces of the murderer are virtually nonexistent, the scene of the crime is unknown (the body was dumped), and even the victim's identity is a mystery. Hurst knows the dead man is a North, a member of an extended family of clones, but nobody seems to be able to figure out which of the many hundreds of Norths he might be. Oh, and there's also the tantalizing possibility that the unknown killer might be the same creature that slaughtered another North and 13 other people two decades ago. And that's just the setup of this epic-size SF mystery (which morphs, the deeper you go into the story, into something else entirely). The author's rapidly growing legion of fans will flock to this new title, and readers unfamiliar with Hamilton's brand of SF should be steered in its direction. It's a perfect introduction to his gifts for character design, dialogue, and sheer, big-idea-driven storytelling.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2012, American Library Association.)

  • Tor.com

    "A mesmerizing page-turner."--Publishers Weekly (starred review) "A gripping saga that blends wilderness survival, police procedural, political and social intrigue, and dynastic sf into a mammoth tale featuring believable characters and exceptionally skilled storytelling."--Library Journal (starred review) "A perfect introduction to [Peter F. Hamilton's] gifts for character design, dialogue, and sheer, big-idea-driven storytelling."--Booklist (starred review) "Compelling and original . . . an awesome novel [with] plenty of action."--SFRevu "One very compelling and entertaining science fiction novel."--SF Site "Simply brilliant . . . an astonishing achievement."

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