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Sometimes a book comes along that is so good you know it’ll stay with you forever. Tears in Rain is one of those books for me.

I found it by accident. It showed up on my Kindle with Special Offers earlier this month. I saw it was about replicants and was Prime Lending eligible. I wasn’t expecting much, but hey: Free!

Now I intend to go back and buy it. It’s that good.

The story is a thriller. The main character is a replicant private detective who has been hired to investigate some gruesome murders. Bruna Husky is well drawn and three-dimensional. She’s an alcoholic, but she’s smart, tough and determined. I’d love to read more books about her.

The plot has several twists, and the author wraps it up satisfyingly in the end. I probably should have figured out earlier who was behind the murders, but I didn’t, and it was nice to be surprised.

The setting is near-future, about 100 years from now, and it feels plausible. Rosa Montero, the book’s author, takes modern technology and projects what we might have in the future. I think she’s a bit ambitious, but considering the current rate of innovation, maybe not. Her teleportation technology has an interesting twist that makes complete sense and is something I’ve never seen before in fiction.

Rosa Montero and friends

Global warming and population pressures have led to off-world colonization. Replicants were created to handle the colonization of hostile environments, and suddenly we have two classes of people. To complicate the class inequality, replicants only live for 10 years. After that time,  cancer destroys their bodies. Two of their ten years are indentured servitude, in the capacity for which they were created. The remaining eight years are theirs.

Bruna has a constant countdown in the story, Four years, three months and some number of days. That’s how long she has before she hits the ten year mark. It gives a sense of immediacy to the book and made me reflect on mortality. No, I don’t know my exact date, but it’s probably less than I think, and it reminded me to make each day count. I like fiction books that make me think, while also telling me an entertaining story.

If you liked Blade Runner, you’ll probably like Tears in Rain. In fact, the title is a reference to Roy Batty’s death scene from the movie.

Give this one a read if you like social science fiction, of if you’re interested in a thriller that will make you think. But if you want to read more books by the author, you’ll need to know Spanish. As far as I can tell, this is the only one of her books that’s been translated into English. If you know of another, let me know. I’d love to read more of her writing.

 
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