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Book Review

Murder by Other Means

 

Written by: John Scalzi
Narrated by: Zachary Quinto
Series: The Dispatcher #2
Genres: Science Fiction | Short Stories | Short Stories
Published: 10th of September, 2020
Length: 3 Hours 30 Minutes

 

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Description
Welcome to the new world, in which murder is all but a thing of the past. Because when someone kills you, 999 times out of 1,000, you instantly come back to life. In this world, there are dispatchers—licensed killers who step in when you’re at risk of a natural or unintentional death. They kill you—so you can live.

Tony Valdez is used to working his job as a dispatcher within the rules of the law and the state. But times are tough, and more and more Tony finds himself riding the line between what’s legal and what will pay his bills. After one of these shady gigs and after being a witness to a crime gone horribly wrong, Tony discovers that people around him are dying, for reasons that make no sense...and which just may implicate him.

Tony is running out of time: to solve the mystery of these deaths, to keep others from dying, and to keep himself from being a victim of what looks like murder, by other means.

 

Morgan Hobbes
Morgan Hobbes

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Reviewed: 2020-10-02

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Adds to the First, Possibly Even Better
So first up, this is a review of BOOK 2 of The Dispatcher so while I'll try to avoid spoilers, if any inadvertently slip past my attention then you've been duly warned.

In this follow up to his short story "This Dispatcher" I think Scalzi outdoes the first. The first is obviously necessary to set up the mechanics of the world and the major players and don't get me wrong, the first one was so out there as a concept and so well written I loved the hell out of it. But in this sequel, Scalzi really nails the concepts and delivers another home run.

The world has moved on a few years since the last, and people (bad guys) are working out ways of murdering people without murdering them. Why? Because if they just outright killed them, the victim has a 99.9% chance of coming back and could point the finger.

This quirk in the universe is also being exploited by other unscrupulous people as you'll learn fairly early on... for reasons that while on the surface make sense in the context of the book, are probably what would really happen if the events of the book actually happened.

It's hard to talk about this without giving spoilers but suffice it to say, Scalzi and Quinto deliver another interesting... (I was about to type "Dick-ish" here in reference to being Phillip K Dick like, but figured that could be misconstrued)... and thought-provoking "what if" concept, and I really hope there are more to come in the series.

 

 

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