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The Dark Side

Cover of The Dark Side

The Dark Side

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In this gripping sci-fi noir for fans of The Martian and Quentin Tarantino, when an anarchic android begins wreaking havoc on a moon-based penal colony and bodies start turning up, an exiled detective must decide who he can trust in a city of criminals.
Never bang your head against a wall. Bang someone else's.

Purgatory is the lawless moon colony of eccentric billionaire, Fletcher Brass and mecca for war criminals, murderers, and curious tourists alike. You can't find better drugs, cheaper plastic surgery, or a more ominous travel advisory anywhere in the universe. But trouble is brewing in Brass's black-market heaven. When an exiled cop comes to enact law and order in this wild new frontier, he finds himself the lead investigator in a series of high-profile murders that puts him toe to toe with the city's charismatic founder and his equally ambitious daughter.

Meanwhile, 2000 km away a memory-wiped android, Leonardo Black rampages across the lunar surface. Programmed with only the notorious "Brass Code"—a compendium of corporate laws that would make Ayn Rand blush—he journeys across the dark side of the moon with only one goal in mind: find Purgatory and conquer it.
In this gripping sci-fi noir for fans of The Martian and Quentin Tarantino, when an anarchic android begins wreaking havoc on a moon-based penal colony and bodies start turning up, an exiled detective must decide who he can trust in a city of criminals.
Never bang your head against a wall. Bang someone else's.

Purgatory is the lawless moon colony of eccentric billionaire, Fletcher Brass and mecca for war criminals, murderers, and curious tourists alike. You can't find better drugs, cheaper plastic surgery, or a more ominous travel advisory anywhere in the universe. But trouble is brewing in Brass's black-market heaven. When an exiled cop comes to enact law and order in this wild new frontier, he finds himself the lead investigator in a series of high-profile murders that puts him toe to toe with the city's charismatic founder and his equally ambitious daughter.

Meanwhile, 2000 km away a memory-wiped android, Leonardo Black rampages across the lunar surface. Programmed with only the notorious "Brass Code"—a compendium of corporate laws that would make Ayn Rand blush—he journeys across the dark side of the moon with only one goal in mind: find Purgatory and conquer it.
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About the Author-
  • Anthony O'Neill is the son of an Irish policeman and an Australian stenographer. He was born in Melbourne and lives in Edinburgh.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 14, 2016
    Noir reigns supreme in this mystery set on the far side of the Moon. Damien Justus is the new lieutenant in Sin, the major city in billionaire criminal tycoon Fletcher Brass’s colony on Earth’s moon. Settled by fugitives from Earth, Sin is not accustomed to the honest police work and hard-boiled ethics that Justus delivers, though he might be exactly what the city needs. Somebody is assassinating Sin’s elite, and Justus doesn’t yet know lunar politics well enough to suss out the outright lies from mere misdirection. Meanwhile, a homicidal android with delusions of grandeur is taking advantage of a communications blackout to murder his way across the Moon in search of El Dorado, or Oz, or anywhere else he might conquer. The story is rife with morbid humor and tense action that make excellent use of the setting. Some readers might be shocked to find themselves cheering for a killer robot who’s never heard of the Tin Man but wants to be the Wizard; some might wish that O’Neill had omitted the traditional noir mistreatment of female characters. The rest will be too busy chuckling to look below the surface.

  • Kirkus

    April 15, 2016
    An incorruptible cop tackles a series of mysterious assassinations in a virtually lawless moon colony; in a not unrelated development, a homicidal android searches for Oz, leaving no survivors in his wake. In sum, it's another intriguingly bizarre thriller noir from the author of The Unscratchables (which was published under the pseudonym Cornelius Kane, 2009), etc. Twenty years ago, on the far side of the moon, megalomaniac oligarch Fletcher Brass founded Purgatory as a refuge for Earth's worst criminals. Brass lives by his own atrocious Brass Code and seems to be locked in a power struggle with his equally steely daughter, QT...or so it appears to newbie police officer Damien Justus, formerly of Las Vegas. Among the victims of a bomb explosion, Justus learns, were Fletcher's right-hand man, while another dead man spied for QT. The other cops barely go through the motions of investigating, since if Brass is involved, it's highly preferable to know nothing. Meanwhile, out on Farside's dusty, cratered surface, an impeccably attired android programmed with the Brass Code ("Never bang your head against a wall. Bang someone else's"; "Find Oz. And be the Wizard"; "Friends help you get there. Everyone else is vermin," etc.), each provision of which he considers a "sacred verse," heads for Purgatory, slaughtering anybody who impedes him according to the Code's remorseless logic. This concept, despite the dazzling details and gritty texture, bears a certain generic similarity to the author's other yarns and makes no claim to originality. Still, his characters have enormous appeal--even the ones you're aware are about to be horrifically murdered. And to relieve the grimness he offers his trademark weird puns, flashes of wit, and mordant humor. Reveling in the low gravity, a yarn that bounds along in fine style, spraying gore and body parts.

    COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Library Journal

    May 15, 2016

    When you've run afoul of the law on planet Earth, there is one final stop in the criminal justice system: the dark side of the moon, where lawbreakers walk free in a colony called Sin. Founder Fletcher Brass operates the city as his own private fiefdom, but he is in a power struggle with his daughter QT. Police Lt. Damien Justus (pronounced differently but still a pretty hokey name to give a lawman) is new to the moon, and his first case is the murder of a prominent criminal associate of Brass. Meanwhile, an android is slowly making its way toward Sin, killing everyone standing in its way. The idea of a no-holds-barred den of thieves and murderers on the moon is a great premise, but the story line here is thinly developed. VERDICT Despite a nice noir touch with Justus as the lone honest man in a corrupt landscape, O'Neill's debut is a near miss, marred by the android's actions, which should be menacing but are instead simply appallingly brutal.--MM

    Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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