Made to Kill by Adam Christopher

Posted On 2 November 2015

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I loved Made to Kill – it’s so completely different than anything I’ve read recently – I didn’t know what to expect and almost went into it negatively so it was a great surprise to enjoy it so much.   Witty, well written and just downright good reading that made me laugh out loud.  I’ve not read Adam Christopher before but I’ll certainly be taking a look back at his other work after this.  My original review appears at The Speculative Herald.
Set in an alternative 60s universe Made to Kill revolves around one central character, who just so happens to be a robot.  In this version of 60s Los Angeles the technology was slightly more advanced than our own of that period and the Government created a programme to roll out robots across the country to take up dangerous or menial tasks.  Unfortunately it was not a success and people railed against their jobs being taken over by robots.  As a result the programme was scrapped and all the robots destroyed.  All but one.  Raymond.  Part of a slightly different programme, Raymond and his super computer Ada survived the destruction and as part of an alternative exercise set up their own PI agency.  The Electromatic Detective Agency.  Well, it was a detective agency, until Ada discovered there was more money in the assassin business.
I’m actually not going to talk about the plot at all.  It starts out simple but pretty soon becomes anything but.  It’s just a wonderful mash up that gets more bizarre as the story continues.  A blend of noir detective, spies, sparkling Hollywood actors and actresses and twisted plots to take over the world.
So what did I enjoy about this?  Well, I started reading and just couldn’t help having that voice in my head – the voice over that comes with your basic private detective film.  The jaded PI, sarcastic and gritty.  Put basically, Ray is a funny guy and a great character to read.  He made the book for me personally and everything else was just icing and cherries, of which there was no shortage.  I mean, you can’t help wondering how you’re going to feel about a robot character – how can you become attached.  Well, Ray isn’t perfect.  Given the technological capabilities of the time he has certain restrictions – like a short memory.  Ray’s memory is stored on tape and he only has a 24 hour storage.  On top of that, well, never forget that Ray is a robot and sometimes his actions can be very calculated.  And yet, I did like him. It started off just enjoying his phrases or the way he describes his laugh and the feeling grew from there.
Ada is Ray’s computer and is a bit of a smart ass.  She’s the constant voice in his head and to Ray she’s a wise cracking, chain smoking, feet on the desk reading a magazine type of gal!  It’s funny to read Ray’s version of Ada.  She’s sharp, and, let’s not forget, she’s running the show really.
Now, add to all this a crazy mixed up plot, a strange mash up of Marlowe meets Bond, glamorous extras, car chases and spies with nefarious plans.  I don’t know what’s not to like really.
I really enjoyed this, the era, the play on that era, the slight difference in terms of technology, the different play on the old fashioned PI and the writing.  All together, thoroughly enjoyable.  Please go and give it a go.
I received a copy from the publisher courtesy of Netgalley for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.

8 Responses to “Made to Kill by Adam Christopher”

  1. Lisa (@TenaciousReader)

    I really want to read this after reading your review. I think the robot protagonist, especially with the assassin assignment and memory issues, just sounds fascinating.

    • @lynnsbooks

      I actually really think you’d enjoy this. I kind of went into it not knowing whether I”d like it or not but then I just loved the era, it was quite thought provoking in parts and the humour – now I know you’re not always into books like that and I understand why but in this case it’s more Ray’s choice of phrases – because he’s a computer, but also because he’s sort of ‘playing’ the PI role. He has some very amusing phrases. A very quick read indeed. Pulpy and great.
      Lynn 😀

  2. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    The only Adam Christopher book I’ve read is Hang Wire, would love to pick up one of his more recent ones! I think I will give this a go 🙂

    • @lynnsbooks

      I would love to know what you make of this – also holding my breath in case you hate it!! I don’t think you will but you never know. It just made me laugh and I really enjoyed it – in fact I’m smiling now just thinking about it.
      Lynn 😀

  3. Sharry

    Haha, “Ray’s memory is stored on tape and he only has a 24 hour storage”. Oh, those days! At first I wasn’t sure whether this was an old classic sci-fi or not but sounds like it’s a sort of homage to that time and the “futuristic” technologies people thought up back then. This one does sound like it would be great fun to read 🙂

    • @lynnsbooks

      It’s really good – I would definitely recommend – witty, sharply written, noir detective/sci fi. pulp fiction. Definitely a book to look into.
      Lynn 😀

  4. Back to the past.. | Books and travelling with Lynn

    […] Los Angeles: Made to Kill by Adam Christopher.  Raymond Electromatic is a private detective and coincidentally the last […]

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