What The Book Is About
In mid-twenty-first century, solving murders hasn’t become any easier. Cutting edge science has created more opportunities for crime than offered solutions.
A ruthless technology company threatens to reveal Project Halo, a scientific breakthrough that will change humanity forever. Layers of secrecy conceal cutting-edge robotics, artificial intelligence and even rumors of synthetic humans. Before scientists can correct flaws that threaten the program, someone or something murders the brains behind the project.
Michael Murphy’s witty fast-paced sci-fi mystery introduces Lucas Nash, a gritty, by the book homicide detective thrust into a world he always avoids, high tech. He sifts through a maze of suspects; Rachel, a spirited intern, a brute of a security chief, a treacherous woman, the murdered man’s partner, and two ambitious Army officers, one found dead in the arms of a married schoolteacher, and a Colonel who can’t be found.
A media starved religious leader warns the world against the evils of technology with his beautiful assistant, Lucas’s one-time flame. Before uncovering the killer’s identity, an unlikely romance threatens to derail the investigation and end Lucas’s career. With pressure mounting from his superiors and the government, Lucas must set aside his feelings and solve the murder before technology makes him and humanity the next victims.
My Thoughts On The Book
I don’t gravitate towards Science Fiction or Murder Mysteries following Police Detectives but this sweet mash-up of genres intrigued me and it definitely didn’t disappoint. I like that the setting is in a not too distant future (2038) so the scenery is recognizable, the oldies are some of our current favorites, and the technology that is commonplace to the characters are things we can easily envision without stretching our imaginations too much or needing a lot of author info-dump to understand.
For a relatively short novel (247 pages), there is quite a bit of ground to cover – two murders that may or not be linked, a tech company producing robots and testing applications of artificial intelligence for government and possibly military use, and whether a burgeoning romance can surpass its questionable origins. But author Michael Murphy weaves the tale with excellent timing so things seem to unfold at a natural pace and it never feels too slow or like we are getting ahead of the investigation. I truly enjoyed solving the mystery along with Detective Lucas Nash, aided with the tech support of his assistant (who I will leave nameless to avoid spoiling the story for you). I also identified with Nash somewhat for his attempts to occasionally avoid using technology, relying on his instincts and gravitating towards manual effort whenever possible. I could see myself trying to do something similar in a world that seems dominated by AI, wanting to exercise my muscle memory and retain some control. This particular quibble with technology made the twist that much more enjoyable (Yes, this is my invitation to read the book yourself and leave me a comment when you get to page 140)
There were a few little nuggets that the author included that made me smile, grimace or applaud accordingly, like:
- The Tubman $20 bill is in circulation in 2038 (smile)
- There are still places without WiFi in 2038 (grimace)
- The Coronavirus pandemic is in the past (applaud)
This is the beginning of a series and I am hooked. I can’t wait to read what Detective Nash gets up to in future installments.
I received a complimentary copy of The Halo Conspiracy from the author Michael Murphy and TLC Book Tours in exchange for writing a review. I was not otherwise compensated and what I wrote above represents my honest opinion and genuine enthusiasm.
Title: The Halo Conspiracy
Author: Michael Murphy
Publisher: Self Published
Publication date: April 15, 2021