Book Review: Titanshade by Dan Stout

Cover of the book Titanshade by Dan Stout
Titanshade
by Dan Stout
DAW, 2019

This review was first published by Booklist on March 1, 2019.

**STARRED REVIEW** Titanshade is a city running out of oil, and there’s a scramble to find alternative energy sources. When a delegate central to delicate negotiations is brutally murdered, it threatens to upend the future of the city. But no one knows who wanted the delegate dead or why, and a disgraced cop must descend into a complex underbelly of crime and political machinations to uncover the truth. What he discovers could cost him what he holds most dear. Titanshade is entirely unique: it’s a gritty noir murder mystery on an alien world with multiple species, a strange form of sorcery, a powerful religion, and large-scale political intrigue. And it’s set in the 1970s, with pay phones, 8-track tapes, racial tensions, and arguments about disco music. What’s amazing is how good it is at being all of these: the genuinely compelling mystery lives in a hugely original sf world and an immersive historical milieu. Moreover, debut novelist Stout is smart enough to let his characters live in this world without trying too hard to show it off. The setting just is, without effort, and that makes it eminently believable. This book should appeal equally to both sf fans and noir aficionados.

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