Near Enemy Delivers Fast-Paced, Sci-Fi /Urban Noir Fun

imageNear Enemy
A Spademan Novel
Adam Sternbergh
Broadway Books (2015)
320 Pages

Spademan is a hit man for hire.
He used to be a garbage man. Had a family.
Then someone set off a dirty bomb in Times Square.
New York – The City, Died.
His family? They died too.
Only those with nothing left to live for walk the street.
Everyone else? They left town. All 8 million of them.
Headed upstate. Outstate. New Jersey.
They also escaped by jacking themselves into the limn.
Actually, it’s the limnosphere, or limn for short.
It’s a virtual cyberspace utopia where you can live out your fantasies as an avatar.
A safe place.
Away from real life.
Away from terrorists.
But only if you are rich.
Nothing can hurt you. Get stabbed? Reboot.
Lose and arm? Grow some wings.
You can’t die. Not in real life.
Or so they thought.
Someone died in the limn.
They also died in real life
Not good.
Spademan has a mission. Who’s messing with the limn?
Corrupt Politicians?
Wanna-be puppet masters?
Egyptian terrorists?
Tough guys in overalls?
A beautiful Nurse?
(There’s always a beautiful woman in noir books and films)
If they can reach you in the limn, is no place safe?
Time is running out.

Near Enemy. Gritty. Post-apocalyptic.
Part sci-fi. Mostly urban noir. Fast paced. Grimly humorous.
Mixes Double Indemnity with Raymond Chandler with a heavy hand on the return lever of a typewriter.
Hard-boiled, antihero. Uses a box-cutter as a weapon of choice.
The writing? Short sentences. Quick. No quotation marks. To the point.
Kinda like this review.
Actually, just like this review.
Second book in a series.
Oh, didn’t I mention that?
I hate coming into a series late. I actually avoid it at all cost.
It didn’t matter.
Adam Sternbergh. The author.
He picks you up.
Throws you over the side of the pool.
Lets you thrash about in water.
You learn to swim.

Faults? It had a few.
Some returning characters seemed thrown in.
While the Spademan character is interesting, I missed out on the “hitman-for-hire” feeling.
But I’m sure it was in the first novel.
Some information toward the end of the novel and the climax refers to knowledge gained from the first novel.
Hate that.
Not important though.
You’ll catch on. I did.

My recommendation?
Near Enemy is definitely worth read.
But don’t read it.
Just not yet anyway.
Go read Sternbergh’s first Spademan novel.
Shovel Ready.
Trust me?
You probably shouldn’t.
I haven’t read it yet. But I plan to.
I definitely plan to.
I can’t honestly advise you to start a series after it’s started.
But when you are done with Shovel Ready, go read Near Enemy.
Looking forward to the next Spademan novel.

Three Stars out of Five. Good novel, easy read, interesting premise, interesting characters, page-turner.

Oh yeah. The disclaimer.
I received a free copy of this novel from Blogging for Books in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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