I just finished RED NOISE by John P. Murphy. This book is a fun sci-fi homage to Kurosawa-inspired spaghetti westerns. When the main character, known simply as The Miner, shows up at a backwoods space station, she finds it overrun by criminal gangs and corrupt cops. A bit of an antihero herself, she decides to take advantage of these groups lest they take advantage of her. Offering her skills as a former-military assassin, she leaps from one gang to the next, playing them off each other.
The prose is witty and crisp. But the second act of the book drags a bit – I couldn’t tell if this was just a really effective slow burn or if the story just bogged down. Fortunately, by the midpoint, things pick back up again. From there, it becomes a non-stop back and forth where the stakes and consequences build and build. Overall, the book’s strength is the main character. She’s a real badass. Bits of her backstory are sprinkled throughout, but never in its entirety… which definitely leaves you wanting more.
All in all, this was an entertaining read. And I always like reading sci-fi that’s confident enough not to add aliens or other tropes of the genre…. Like space madness.