Ian Hocking’s Saskia Brandt Series

Ian Hocking has kindly sent me ebooks of the first two titles in his Saskia Brandt Series, Déjà Vu and Flashback. Déjà-VuSet a decade from now these are extremely fast-paced science fiction action thrillers involving advanced computer technology, virtual reality and time travel. As the blurb says, scientist David Proctor is running for his life. On his trail is Saskia Brandt, a detective with the European FIB. She has questions. Questions about a bomb that exploded back in 2003. But someone is hunting her too. The clues are in the shattered memories of her previous life.

Flashback further complicates matters. In 1947 a Santiago-bound plane crashes into the Andes minutes after confirming its landing time. In 2003 a passenger plane nosedives into the Bavarian National Forest during a routine flight. Although separated by more than 50 years, these tragedies are linked by seven letters: S, T, E, N, D, E, C.Flashback - Ian Hocking

Both books, written in a sometimes dense, staccato, English, are highly imaginative but I found them too breathless and densely plotted, offering little time for reflection or  involvement. I suspect the author had an eye on TV, and if you like J.J. Abrams (Alias, Lost, Fringe) and would like a UK version (perhaps Bugs with harder SF and more pace) here it is. Both titles have proved highly popular with readers on Amazon and if the customer comments are anything to go by you may enjoy these more than I did. Don’t just take my word. No less than Ken MacLeod described Déjà Vu as ‘A crisply-written, fast-paced thriller that makes assured use of cutting-edge science fiction ideas’.


Free Joyce and Woolf

All works published in the lifetime of James Joyce and Virginia Woolf, who died respectively on 13 January and 28 March 1941, came out of copyright in the EU on 1 January. Apart from budget reprints this means such titles as Joyce’s Ulysses and Woolf’s Night and Day are now available in free electronic editions for Kindle and other e-readers.