Friday, September 08, 2017

FFB: The Plutonium Blonde -- John Zakour & Lawrence Ganem

The Plutonium Blonde is the first book in a series by John Zakour and Lawrence Ganem, although by the fourth book Zakour was going it alone.  There are now seven or eight books in the series.  I've never seen any of them in stores, as DAW seems to have disappeared around here, but when I ran across a hardcover volume (called Dangerous Dames) containing the first two books in the series for a buck on a bargain rack, I couldn't resist.

The novel is a private-eye tale set in 2057.  The narrator is Zachary Nixon Johnson, the last licensed private-eye in the world, and the first-person narration is interesting in that Johnson's clearly speaking directly to us, the 20th century readers.  Maybe all SF stories set in the future are like that and I just never noticed before.  Anyway, the plot involves finding a very dangerous clone (it has a plutonium core and it's determined to Destroy the World as We Know It).  That's about it.  The book is over 300 pages long, though, so you get plenty of action scenes, in every single one of which Johnson comes up with a way to escape that you haven't been prepared for.  He has the world's smartest computer residing inside him, so that helps.  The computer's name is HARV, and if we're told that those letters mean, I've forgotten already. HARV is a big help in times of trouble.

I've mentioned books with snappy patter before.  Well, this book is all snappy patter, over 300 pages of it.  If you like constant snappy patter, this is the book for you.  I must like it because I don't usually read books this long, but I breezed right through The Plutonium Blonde.  I don't know if I'll go on to read The Doomsday Brunette, the other novel in the volume, but this one was fun.

The cover, by the way, is a mashup of the two paperback editions, in case you were wondering.


George said...

I have a couple books in this series. They sound like fun! find them...

Jeff Meyerson said...

Never heard of these. They do sound fun.