Friday, February 1

Click Here for Murder – Donna Andrews

Turing Hopper, possibly the world’s first sentient Artificial Intelligence Personality, has another murder to solve – that of systems engineer Ray Santiago, found dead in an alley. Ray was hard-working and quiet – his only real interest was in an online role playing game, which surely couldn’t have anything to do with his murder. His laptop’s missing, and if Ray was at all careless with his data, Turing’s consciousness could be in danger.
This second AIP mystery was less satisfying for me that the
first – perhaps because the uniqueness of Turing was no longer as fresh. It just all seemed a little to contrived, and the mystery served as a smoke screen for the real plot twist, which was left dangling at the end of the book, a clear hook for the third instalment. I have a particular dislike of this technique, most often seen in SF series, and it did not endear the series to me.
Perhaps I also found Click Here less rewarding because the philosophical and practical issues of silicon sentience were much less present – though there’s some reflection by Turing on the potential growing sentience of a fellow AIP, and a significant component of the underlying plot deals (to some degree) with this aspect of the issue, there’s no substantive recognition this time around. I appreciate that the point of the book is a mystery rather than an ethical exploration of what constitutes personhood, but I found that aspect clearly present last time and was disappointed by its absence. All in all not terrible but far from exceptional. - Alex

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