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Ex Kop, by Warren Hammond
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Tor
Published: 2010
Review Posted: 6/15/2013
Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: Not Rated

Ex Kop, by Warren Hammond

Book Review by Joshua Palmatier

Have you read this book?

Ex-Kop is the second novel in the Kop series by Warren Hammond and I dove into it immediately after reading the first book Kop. I don't typically read SF, so this is a big deal. *grin*

We're once again on the planet Lagarto, in the city of Koba, following the ex-enforcer and dirty cop Juno. His time in the force has come to an end, but he can't seem to shake the habit of being a cop. It doesn't help that his wife is in the hospital after a serious "accident." So when the rookie partner he worked with on his previous case, Maggie, asks for his help in an investigation, he takes her up on the offer as a distraction and because he can use the money to help heal his wife.

Again, the case involves murder, but this time it's what appears to be a serial killer who tortures his victims and then destroys all of the evidence by using gene eaters. So they don't know who the victims are and there's no genetic evidence to help identify the killer. In addition, in another homicide, a young girl has confessed to committing the crime but Maggie doesn't believe her. She'd like Juno to find out who really killed the girl's parents, and why she'd confess to the crime if she didn't do it.

I didn't enjoy this book as much as the previous one, but I still liked it. A lot. Again we have the dark, gritty, jungle setting, a main character that is sympathetic even though he's not the nicest guy around, and a couple of cases that are interesting and convoluted. I think the main reason this one wasn't as interesting for me is because it didn't have the strong political implications as the first one. It's basically a murder mystery with a minor connection to the political climate as left at the end of the first book. In others words, the stakes didn't feel as high or as important in this book as the first one. The danger to Juno, his wife, and Maggie is real, but the threat didn't reach much beyond that.

I still enjoyed the mystery intertwined in this one, and it still had the feel of Bladerunner in a jungle. The personal emotional stress that Juno is under in this one is significantly higher, and that subplot was almost more interesting to me than the main plot. I really liked the ending and how it sets up some rather interesting possibilities for future books. I would have moved on immediately to those future books if any of them were out, but instead I'm going to have to wait. I believe the next book is supposed to called Kop Killer, but I haven't been able to find a release date for it yet.

In any case, a good read, and definitely a series I'd recommend for those who love dark, gritty, edgy SF noir a la Bladerunner.
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