No Signal – Book Review

iME Series Book 2 By: Jem Tugwell
Published On: June 4, 2020
No. of Pages: 336
Published By: Serpentine Books
Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook, & Audio

iMe knew where everyone was. It saved their signal so that it also knew where everyone had been. There was nowhere to hide.

The beauty of this story lies in how it is set in a future that feels so close that you can almost touch it. Even now there are events mentioned in the news about how governments from certain countries are using devices, such as a bracelet, to track an individual’s location and health stats due to the coronavirus. The iME series takes it all a step or two further, but there is enough truth in the core of story to make it all very plausible and far too realistic.

Clive is the main protagonist in the series. He’s by far my favorite character and is so incredibly relatable. Dragging his feet into this future that he does not want is very taxing as it affects his job opportunities, his love life, and his personal freedoms. Choosing to not exercise or not to eat properly is a luxury we all currently have, but in Clive’s world freedom is a dream of yesterday. The iME sees it all and is determined to help Clive choose a better lifestyle. And if he doesn’t, then there is always the vending machine to turn him in to the Freedom Unit Enforcement under the Ministry of Well-being and Health branch of government, where you can be disciplined for not following the expected guidelines. What hope is there for Clive when he can’t live the life he wants?

The vending machine said: ‘Clive, my friend. What can I get you?’

But No Signal also begins to explore how it affects other areas of governing too. Even tourists entering the country for a short period of time are required to wear a special bracelet called the iTourist. Honestly, I would think this might discourage tourism and have a monetary impact that goes along with that, but if so there is no mention of it.

In No Signal, Clive is still at his same job, but this time he has a new partner – Ava. Zoe is still around, but she has moved on to another position. Life is boring for Clive in the Proximity Crime Unit, but what they don’t know is that four individuals from outside the UK are about to enter the country. They are playing a game with the goal of getting to a destination before their opponents can get to their own destination. It is all a pretense though and the real goal is much deadlier and with a purpose. While that goes on, Clive begins to sense a much broader conspiracy in place concerning members of government and perhaps something new called The Church of the New Modelists. But, in the end perhaps Clive is not alone in his frustration with how much iME really controls.

I like this series. I like how fully-fleshed out the idea of iME is within the context of this world – how far-reaching the technology is and the stranglehold it has on all aspects of society. Given how prevalent technology like this is becoming, I really like how it begs you to begin asking questions about how far is too far in terms of technology, freedom, and privacy, while giving you a rather thrilling and entertaining story all at the same time.

Rating: 5 stars

Description:

In a breathtaking follow-up novel to ‘PROXIMITY’, Serge says it’s the ultimate Augmented Reality game. He’s chosen his Ten carefully – the reckless, driven and strong. He tests them. Ten become Four.

DI Clive Lussac wants to fight the system that controls everything, but he’s ill and losing the people closest to him. In the middle of eco-protests, he’s lost four tourists. As Clive’s world unravels, he and his partners DC Ava Miller and DS Zoe Jordan race to find the tourists and the true reason behind the game. It may already be too late.

A CONTROLLED POPULATION
The UK has embedded technology – iMe.
It knows where you are…all of the time. It controls what you eat.
It has eradicated crime and made everyone healthy.

A DEVASTATED WORLD
The world is on the brink.
The Government talks but it doesn’t act.
It thinks it’s safe.

TIME FOR CHANGE
Who will ignite change?
Who has the determination to see it through?
What will be sacrificed for the cause?

No Signal is Available at the Following Locations:

Serpentine Books is running a Copter competition to give a way 2 signed copies of Proximity (open to UK addresses only):
Rafflecopter Giveaway

Jem Tugwell Author Profile:

Jem Tugwell is a crime fiction author with a Crime Writing MA from City University.

NO SIGNAL is the second book in the iMe series and follows his thrilling debut novel PROXIMITY. 

Jem is inspired by the fascinating possibilities of technology, AI and the law of unintended consequences. In a past life, Jem had a successful career in technology and investment management, and he lives in Surrey with his wife and dog. He has two great children. Outside of his family and writing, Jem’s loves are snowboarding, old cars and bikes.

Please visit Jem’s website (www.jemtugwell.com) to read more.

Follow Jem:
Twitter: @JemTugwell
Facebook & Instagram: JemTugwellAuthor

Killing Mind – Book Review

DI Kim Stone #12 by Angela Marsons
Published on: May 13, 2020

This is only the second book I’ve read by Angela Marsons, but she and this series have very quickly become one of my favorites. There are several reasons for this – the first is that I have come to appreciate the research that have gone into the stories. Many stories have twists and turns and those stories are all very enjoyable. But within the DI Kim Stone series there is a theme or social issue the detectives are focused as they work through the case. In Killing Mind, the issue being brought to light are cults. Why does someone join? How do they attract members? How do they retain members? How does someone leave the cult? If they do leave, what happens afterwards? The narrative of this story focuses specifically on Unity Farm, which encourages individuals to remove themselves from their past, their electronics, and their family, which they call blood relatives since Unity Farm members are their only family now. As the team investigates they discover the murdered victim(s) have a connection to this farm and DI Stone has Tiffany go undercover to gain more information on who is there and how it works.

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Hide Away – Book Review

Rachel Marin Thriller #1 by Jason Pinter
Published on: March 1, 2020

To be honest, this month I wasn’t 100% drawn to any of the Amazon First Reads options and almost didn’t select one, but ultimately liked the idea of a police procedural type of mystery and chose Hide Away.

My ultimate fear was that the story would drag or that I would feel obligated to finish a book that didn’t really interest me. Thankfully, this wasn’t the case. I found myself so entranced by it that I would mean to read only a chapter and then several chapters later look up to realize what I had done. At one time I was so engrossed in the book that I discovered that I had completely missed the time I had planned to go to lunch.

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Proximity – Blog Tour – Book Review

By Jem Tugwell
Published by Serpentine Books
Genre: Techno Thriller/ Procedural
Published on June 6, 2019

An entertaining, yet thought-provoking police procedural set in the near future where society has given away their person freedoms in favor of being more secure and more healthy. Now the government has the ability to monitor where each person is, what they eat, how much they exercise, how fast they drive…. all through the iME – an implanted device on each person.

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Snow Creek – Book Review

Detective Megan Carpenter Tapes Book 1 by Gregg Olson
Published on: November 18, 2019

Set in Snow Creek, Washington near Port Townsend this new detective series brought out so many different emotions as I read the story. The story telling is overwhelmingly good and the setting was thought-provoking as I worked my way through self-imposed isolation many in this community apparently desire.

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The Whisper Man – Audio Book Review

By Alex North
Published: August 20, 2019

This review focuses on the audio book version.

Prior to The Whisper Man being released, I started seeing the terrific reviews coming in for this book. I knew almost immediately I wanted to read it, but wanted to wait until October, which seemed to me to be the perfect month for this book.

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