Title: RedDevil 4
Author: Eric C. Leuthardt
Publication Date: 4 February 2014
Genre: Science Fiction, Mystery
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Renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Hagan Maerici is on the verge of a breakthrough in artificial intelligence that could change the way we think about human consciousness. Obsessed with his job and struggling to save his marriage, Dr. Maerici is forced to put his life’s work on the line when a rash of brutal murders strikes St. Louis.
Edwin Krantz, an aging, technophobic detective, and his ex-Navy SEAL partner, Tara Dezner, are tasked with investigating the horrifying killings. Shockingly, the murders have all been committed by high-profile citizens who have no obvious motives. Seeking an explanation for the suspects’ strange behavior, Krantz and Dezner turn to Dr. Maerici, who believes that the answer lies within the killers’ in-brain computer implants.
Soon Tara Dezner begins to suspect that the doctor himself is a key piece of the puzzle. As the investigation turns to Dr. Maerici’s own work, it threatens to expose the doctor’s long-buried mistake–a mistake that now stands to endanger the lives of millions.
With time running out, this trio of unlikely allies must face a gauntlet of obstacles, both human and AI, as they attempt to avert disaster. Ultimately, the key to survival may lie in the boundary between man and machine…a boundary that is becoming more ambiguous by the minute.
I really, really liked this book. It’s not one of my top favorites or anything but it was definitely the perfect book for getting out of a reading rut. It was such an engaging novel- each of the characters served a specific purpose and each plot line came together extremely nicely. And I really enjoyed reading a novel where AI was not entirely “I’m going to destroy the world” and where these AI had specific regulations that they followed quite closely. So awesome!
Dr. Maerici is by far one of the most accurate descriptions of an invested scientist in the midst of a scientific breakthrough- obsessive, uncaring, hyper-focused, consumed. What was even more amazing was the relationship between him and his wife. It was real, there was tension, she wasn’t as understanding of his need to complete his work and he wasn’t understanding of her need for him to be present. It’s definitely one of the most realistic depictions of a relationship that I have ever seen.
By far my favorite character was Tara Dezner; add her to that list of strong, independent women characters. She was also another very relatable character. She wanted her colleagues to see her one way while she tucked another portion of herself away from the world. She felt like she would be someone you could meet anywhere: strong yet vulnerable. I also really enjoyed her relationship with Edwin Krantz. They are polar opposites- Tara is all about technology and being this very strong character where Edwin is entirely opposed to technology and is seen as a more openly soft character. But Edwin was also an enjoyable character. His true purpose to the readers really began to shine through when Tara and Dr. Maerici are talking about all of the technical terms. His purpose is to make the other characters explain all of the jargon in terms that the average reader can understand. I really appreciated having that type of character because too often science fiction novels lack that connection between the extremely complex science/ technology and the limited understanding of the readers.
Now the multiple plot lines were quite irritating at first because they just seemed to spring up from nowhere. But as the story progresses and more is revealed, watching the plot lines begin to really intertwine was beautifully and artistically done. And what made it more beautiful was the fact that each plot line was intriguing with its own varieties of characters. I firmly believe that if Leuthardt wanted to write a prequel spin-off to this novel, he could easily take one of these side characters and create a gorgeous novel. Or even another standalone on its own.
The novel as an entirety is truly (indubitably :P) amazing. It was such a fun and interesting read. I would recommend this book to just about everyone, especially if you’ve never read any science fiction. It’s a beautifully written novel with an intense and amazingly confusing plot with even more descriptive characters.