It was just another Tuesday morning when she walked into the office—young, as I suspected they all might be, another dark brunette with some assistance and enough eye black to match up to Cleopatra. And who am I? I'm Ray, the world's last robot, famed and feared in equal measure, which suits me just fine—after all, the last place you'd expect to find a Hollywood's best hit man is in the plain light of day.
Raymond Electromatic is good at his job, the lone employee of the Electromatic Detective Agency—except for Ada, office gal and super-computer, the constant voice in Ray's inner ear. Ray might have taken up a new line of work, but money is money, after all, and he was programmed to make a profit. Besides, with his twenty-four-hour memory-tape limits, he sure can keep a secret.
When a familiar-looking woman arrives at the agency wanting to hire Ray to find a missing movie star, he's inclined to tell her to take a hike. But she had the cold hard cash, a demand for total anonymity, and tendency to vanish on her own.
Plunged into a glittering world of fame, fortune, and secrecy, Ray uncovers a sinister plot that goes much deeper than the silver screen—and this robot is at the wrong place, at the wrong time. Read an excerpt. >>
"This first in the L.A. trilogy is a fun, fast read for anyone willing to take the speculative leap—a must-add for most fiction collections."
—Booklist (starred review)
"Genre mash-ups don’t always succeed, but this one will please fans of both gumshoes and laser beams."
You lucky duck—I am so excited for you. If there was ever a time that I could reread a book all over again, it would be now.
It’s like this. If Raymond Chandler had written a science fiction novel, it would read very much like Made to Kill. Developed out of “Brisk Money,” a novelette written for Tor.com, Adam Christopher was motivated by Chandler, who famously said of science fiction “They pay brisk money for this?” Well—thank you, Mr. Chandler, you’ve inspired another brilliant novel.
Made to Kill is really more noir-mystery than science fiction, save for our hero, Raymond Electromatic, the world’s only robot detective. Set in Los Angeles in the 1960s, Christopher brilliantly captures time and place, writing as if Fred McMurray and Barbara Stanwyck were plotting their next (diabolical) move.
And the whole thing is wonderful.
It’s been a long time since a book captivated me so. I was the smiling fool on the subway, lost in my own Hollywood, riding along with Ray as he roamed around the city meeting a rich trough of characters, reporting back to Ada, always ready with a great one-liner.
I’m on to other books, yet I miss Ray and Ada still. And then I remember that this is only the first in “The L.A. Trilogy”. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Sit back and revel in Made to Kill.
Like I said, lucky you.
Director of Publicity, Tor Books