Cover Image: Titanium Noir

Titanium Noir

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Member Reviews

Very enjoyable detective thriller set in a slightly futuristic world where medical engineering has created a group of super human individuals. Context of power and greed. Excellent read. Thank you to #netgalley and publisher for the opportunity to review
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4 stars
This was an enjoyable read. I loved the classic noir feel in the more modern time. It was a fun guessing game with all of the twists. I’ll certainly be looking up more books by Nick Harkaway.
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We open with a dead nerd, a small caliber slug still rattling around in his brainpan. We're supposed to believe it's a suicide, but who orders take out before taking himself out? The dead nerd leads to sirens of various sorts, the loud, the vivacious, and the duplicitous. And things just keep unraveling from there. 

What a fun read full of interesting concepts. Harkaway isn't the first author to write sci-fi noir, but his take is fresh and just delightful. The noir wordplay is over-the-top and Harkaway is fully aware and fully in control. He does everything but break the fourth wall, "Hey, you know. I'm in on the joke. And so are you!" This is a great strength of this book. A less skilled author could never pull it off. 

So while the execution of the noir concept is amusing, the plot is quite serious and a little disturbing. The contrast is refreshing. It pulls us through a compelling mystery story full of fun surprises.

I received a digital copy from Knopf via NetGalley in exchange for this review and no other compensation. I generally give generous star ratings to pre-published books I enjoy and decline to review books I didn't. I'm delighted to recommend it to readers of sci-fi. It is an immensely fun read.
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Review of Uncorrected Proof

In Chersenesos, private detective Cal Sounder is consulting with the police; thus, he finds himself investigating the murder of ninety-one-year-old Titan Roddy Tebbit. And the Titans, humans turned into long-living giants thanks to the controversial drug Titanium 7, are Cal’s specialty.

The murder of a Titan is almost unimaginable. Humans modified using the T7 genetic therapy discovered [and controlled] by Stefan Tonfamecasca, experience immense growth. But there are only a few thousand of these almost-immortal beings; the cost of the T7 therapy is prohibitive. And the Titans, along with their wealth, are society’s powerful elite.

So who killed Roddy? And, perhaps more importantly, why?


The world-building in this near-future dystopian tale is commendable; readers are sure to find the inventive plot quite intriguing. In true classic noir fashion, the mystery surrounding the murder of Roddy Tebbit exposes secrets, offers readers unexpected twists, and keeps them guessing with well-placed red herring.

The characters are spot-on for the tale; the hero is both resourceful and clever. The pace is quick, the unfolding tale compelling. The book is recommended; however, readers should be aware that it suffers from extensive overuse of a particularly offensive expletive; this lowers the rating for the book. 

I received a free copy of this eBook from Knopf, Pantheon, Vintage, and Anchor, Knopf and NetGalley 
#TitaniumNoir #NetGalley
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I don’t usually like to compare books with other books, but I have to admit that I agree with the blurb that this is sort of a mashup of Philip K. Dick and Raymond Chandler.  Cal Sounder is Philip Marlowe transplanted to some vaguely dystopian future, a city called Cheresenos, probably somewhere in the Balkans, but it doesn’t matter.  The point is that this is a place where, like Chandler’s Los Angeles, there are two sets of rules depending on where you fall in the city’s power structure.  And like Marlowe, Cal doesn’t have power, but he is often called upon by both the police and the powerful to deal with those tricky cases that might be problematic or downright impossible for the police to involve themselves in.

The powerful in Cheresenos are Titans, especially those in Stefan Tonfamecasca’s family, which includes Stefan’s daughter Athena, Cal’s girlfriend before she became a Titan.  So what is a Titan?  It’s somebody with enough money and power to buy themselves T7 therapy, which gives the recipient back their youth, with the advantage/disadvantage that it also makes the recipient around seven feet tall.  There are other side effects too, and they morph when and if the recipient gets more doses.

There are only a few thousand Titans in the world, making it particularly notable when one is found murdered.  He’s a puzzling case, since he was apparently given T7 by a benefactor and worked a real job.  Cal is the obvious choice to investigate, which he does doggedly, touching base with his many contacts on the seamier side of Cheresenos as well as the Titan community—and getting regular life-threatening assaults along the way.

This is a wildly colorful techno-futuristic hardboiled detective story—with a heart.  Another winner by the reliably inventive Nick Harkaway, who deserves to be much better known.
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This was a fun and different book to read. The author nailed the noir feel - the story transported me back to those old-style tough detective books. But the setting was modern and interesting - a group of "titans" exist among regular humans, and our detective Cal Sounder is called in for the unusual cases that might be tricky/involve the titans. There is murder (of course), intrigue, and I really enjoyed discovering what happened. But I especially enjoyed the atmosphere along the way.
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This book is one that had all the things I was looking for in a story but it just fell flat for me. I really enjoyed the description, but I just found the book lacking in everything. I just couldn’t get into this one. I found the pacing really slow, but the main character was interesting. This is just one that I wanted to work for me but despite everything it didn’t. 

I want to thank the publisher and netgalley for this e-arc in exchange for an honest review. I will not be posting this review to social media.
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In this compelling, evocative tech noir, detective Cal Sounder is tasked with solving the murder of a Titan, one of the select group of "speciated rich" - taller, stronger, and very long-lived, but subject to the same passions as everyone else. He exploits his personal connections among the Titans to unravel the crime - hopefully before he becomes its next victim.

I was originally drawn to this novel by its science fictional elements, which I wish had been more thoroughly explored. But the mystery plot was very well-done, twisty and suspenseful with a conclusion that was both intellectually satisfying and, somewhat surprisingly, emotionally resonant.

Most readers of crime novels are probably not sensitive to violence, but I am, so a warning - while there isn't an excessive quantity of violence, its depiction is sometimes quite graphic. This doesn't feel gratuitous - Sounder finds himself in tricky situations and has to fight his way out, and the way he does so is both interesting and gruesome - but these are not scenes for the squeamish to read just before dinner.

4.5 stars.
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First time reading Nick Harkaway, and will definitely need to find other books. This book was so enjoyable. Great characters, great pacing, great story. Could hardly put it down, and finished in less than a day. #TitaniumNoir #NetGalley
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I am quite glad I decided to step out of my comfort zone to read Titanium Noir written by Nick Harkaway. I guess it was really more of a baby step as I enjoy mysteries and this ia a good mystery.

The story takes place in an unnamed location and is set in the near future although how near is not disclosed. People are still people with the same quirks that somehow both bring us together and apart.

It can be difficult to explain the generalities of the book without disclosing unintentional spoilers but  I will give it a go. The main character consults with the police on cases involving "important people". When not involved on those types of cases, he is just your average private detective. 

We meet a wide range of characters, all of whom add a lot of flavor to the story and the world in which it takes place.

Twists and turns abound as we gain new perspectives with each new character and piece of information. This was truly the first time in a very long time that I didn't have it all figured out. How wonderful it was to be surprised how the pieces of puzzle came together!

This mystery was masterfully wriiten and I recommend itbto mystery lovers and sci-fi fans - there is something for everyone here!
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This book was an absolute joy to read. Fans of William Gibson and Raymond Chandler will feel right at home in this twisty detective novel. With plenty of plot twists and red herrings the author keeps you on the hook as long as possible before the satisfying conclusion. I will definitely be recommending this book to my friends.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Knopf for supplying me with a digital copy to review.

A Great future Noir!

Set in a city effectively ruled by Titans, very rich humans who after taking a dose of a substance called T7 become younger and physically larger. Effectively making them immortal, but the process isn't without its drawbacks.

After one Titan is murdered it is up to Cal Sounder a detective consultant to find the killer, he specializes in cases involving Titans and tries to keep the peace with the general public and the Titan's dirty laundry out of the papers. 

This was a fun read and while Cal does do a lot of not even questionable actions both personally and in the pursuit of the killer you feel he has a clear moral compass for the world he inhabits and you root for the broken detective.

A fast-paced and thrilling future-noir mystery with plenty of intrigue and corrupt individuals.

Overall I give Titanium Noir 4 Stars.
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What a fun book. Smooth writing. Had me guessing all along the way, and the world Harkaway created is wild. The Titans and their science and its cultural effects are very well thought out. Exactly what I wanted when I read the description. William Gibson had been as good as this in a way. And having recently read The Big Sleep, any comparisons of Cal to Marlowe are justified.

If I had any complaint, it's that the mean banter gets a bit too much. Yes, I get it, Cal and no one else in this world are people persons, but after awhile the banter gets old because it's not usually not doing double duty by expressing some subtext.

Still, the book makes me want to check out Harkaway's backlist.

Thanks, NetGalley, for the copy.
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I haven’t read a Noir mystery in quite some time. It took me a bit to get used to the author’s style.
It is an interesting storyline. There are humans who have been given 1-4 doses of T7 and become younger and bigger in every way - their bones are denser and they can live a very long time.  There are also severe side effects - one is amnesia .Most are extremely rich and are consideredthe top of the food chain. 
Unfortunately, a Titan is murdered and Private Investigator Cal Sounder is put on the case as a police consultant. He usually works cases involving Titans - in case a scapegoat is needed.
As Cal follows the clues, it is difficult to tell the good guys from the bad guys. Hopefully, Cal will survive the case.
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Longtime readers of my book reviews know I appreciate both a well-executed genre mash-up and an imaginative premise. Titanium Noir, by Nick Harkaway delivers on both counts, and is a size-15 gumshoe full of fun that I tore through in just a couple days. It’s Sci-Fi Noir, over-stuffed with atmosphere, memorable characters and crackling dialogue.

This review is based on an advance copy provided by the publisher through NetGalley for that purpose. The book will be available on May 16, 2023.

Reading the book blurb gives you a good sense of the state of play. A genetic breakthrough resulted in the creation of a cadre of super humans known as Titans due to their increased size, longevity and physical power. The gene therapy is very expensive and monopolized by one family, but in truth most of the few thousand Titans were already head and shoulders above the rest of us due to their money and influence. 

Cal Sounder is a private detective who serves as a consultant to the local police on all matters Titan. Cal has an in with the Titans’ founding family, a previous relationship with the daughter of the man who discovered the therapy, and that proximity gives him insight and access unavailable to average cops. When he’s called in on the death of an unusual Titan, a quiet and unassuming university professor, the case proves a classic noir mystery of twists, dead-end leads and surprise reveals. 

Titanium Noir is a smart, fast-moving and utterly entertaining read.
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Oxfords dictionary, defines noir as “a genre of crime film or fiction characterized by cynicism, fatalism, and moral ambiguity.”  That’s about as perfect of a summary of this book as you could put together.

The characters are fascinating, the dialogue is perfect and the story a challenging mystery with quite a few red herrings, twists, and turns before a resolution that works. The city is a perfect setting – you think you know where you are, but it’s not quite reality.  There are a couple of very interesting bars; totally different, but each fits into its place in the story nicely

 The idea of “Titans“ as a medical revolutionary next step in humanity is quite intriguing and well thought through. Their implications for society from economic, political, business, and personal perspectives are all considered, and incorporated into the story itself.

I have read the authors three other novels and enjoyed them immensely. He goes in entirely different direction in this book and does it quite well. Enjoy I certainly did!
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thank you to the author, publisher, and netgalley for an advanced audio version in exchange for honest review

3.5 out of 5
the books blurbs referencing a PKD style dirty detective with super heros added is spot on. the book's worldbuilding and overall plot are fantastic and imaginative. lots of unique situations and characters with all their associated quirks fleshed out. ive enjoyed Harkaway's prior works and would have given this 5 stars but the style of literally prose, while beautiful, was too dense for me many times to the point I had to reread whole pages two or three times to fully understand the goings-on in the main character's head or the situations he finds himself in. 
the actualy who dun it story line of the detective noir style story is very satisfying.
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Titanium Noir was an excellent book. I mainly picked it up because the description had Philip K. Dick in it. Think Philip K Dick meets a humorous detective. The sci-fi aspect was light and simple and tied into the investigation smoothly. The book was funny and had enough twists and turns to always keep me guessing. I am excited to read more books by Nick Harkaway; hopefully they can live up to this one.

I received Titanium Noir as an ARC from NetGalley in return for an honest review.
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Titanium Noir takes place in a retro-future Chicago-esque city run by Titans, genetically enhanced humans who are bigger, stronger, and tougher than normal folk. They're admired, envied, and hated, and they tend to keep to themselves, particularly after a few rounds of T7 treatment. When one is murdered, however, the cops reach out and soon Cal Sounder is on the job. He's just a regular human detective, but he's got an inside track with the Titans because he's been dating one of 'em. These Titans are a wily group with lots of infighting and interpersonal drama, however, so the case is definitely not clear cut and not everyone's who you - and Cal - think they are. Which leads to the question: Who dunnit, and why?

I had a lot of fun reading this highly entertaining, ingenious, and well-written noir detective story. Definitely recommended.
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What a remarkably great book. I am a huge fan of Nick Harkaway, but even so, it's hard to overstate how much joy this novel gave me. It's about a PI in the near-future investigating the death of a Titan, a person who's been through a process that grants superhuman health and near-immortality. Harkaway has come up with a perfect metaphor for the billionaire class -- they literally take up more space than baseline humans. It's smart and funny and sharp and inventive. A look into the future that feels plausible and strange all at once.
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