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Made to Kill: L.A. Trilogy #1    by Adam Christopher order for
Made to Kill
by Adam Christopher
Order:  USA  Can
Tor, 2015 (2015)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Adam Christopher's Made to Kill, first in his new L.A. Trilogy, is essentially a noir, hard-boiled mystery (think A. A. Fair) set in an alternate past and starring a robotic PI/assassin. Indeed in his Acknowledgements at the back of the book, the author tells us that he intended to write a 'Chandler sci-fi epic'.

The story is set in 1965 Hollywood, California in a world a little different from our own. A big rollout of robots in the 50s was followed by a backlash of robophobia. All robots were junked. Then Professor Thornton created Raymond Electromatic, 'the last robot in the world', paired with computer AI Ada to run the Electromatic Detective Agency. But somewhere along the way, Ada developed a mind of her own, with two goals - independence and profit. She started to hire Raymond, whose memory only lasts one day, out as a very effective hit man.

Like the typical Raymond Chandler novel, this one opens on a femme fatale entering the office - lovely young film star Eva McLuckie who pays them in solid gold bars to eliminate a fellow star, Charles David. So Raymond starts looking for David and discovers that quite a few A-listers had disappeared recently. The trail leads to the Temple of the Magenta Dragon, an elite club for the rich and famous, where Raymond's Geiger counter tells him he's with 'the hottest stars in Hollywood.'

The rather convoluted plot carries on with Cold War Russian spies, CIA agents, a tuxedoed mummy, a movie premiere, radioactivity, mind control, and a devious plan to take over the world, with its last robot as a key actor. Can Raymond Electromatic stop it? Of course, you know he will, with just a little help from his lovely client.

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