Red Team Blues

by Cory Doctorow

Thursday, October 12, 2023

Featured image for Red Team Blues

I last read one of Cory Doctorow’s books a dozen years ago and commented at the time that I wished I liked science fiction more. I’ve since found plenty of science fiction I do like, this isn’t science fiction anyway, and I still like Doctorow’s non-fiction writing on the web. So I figured it was about time I tried again.

This one’s a thriller, set in contemporary times, with lots of buzzword laden hacky cryptocurrency hi-jinx. I expect the technical details probably makes it feel much like science fiction to many people, but I - more or less - understand this stuff and the tech here definitely has its roots in the real world. The protagonist is a sixty-something almost-retired forensic accountant, and again I felt you were supposed to be surprised by how interesting that job is, and that sixty year olds aren’t actually almost dead. But, a few things feeling a bit overblown to me wasn’t really a problem, and the story was an enjoyable romp. I kept thinking of John D. MacDonald’s Travis McGee - McGee lives on a boat called the “Busted Flush”, in this book Martin Hench lives aboard a tour bus named the “Unsalted Hash”, I can’t remember enough about McGee to know whether the allusion was deliberate but it made me like Hench more anyway.

An enjoyable book, with a mash of interesting ideas, and I believe there’s to be a sequel, which I’d definitely put on my reading list.