Body Modification is nothing new in Schengen City. Even Detective John Moglich has a cybered arm, on account of being shot by a punk with an auto-shotgun back when he was a cop. Naturally, when Detective Moglich is given a hefty sum to investigate the attempted murder of a woman with more than her fair share of mods, he doesn't hesitate.
As he gets deeper into the investigation, things get weirder. He discovers a fetish subculture centering on the worship of the female breast, and the conversion of its milk into a pain-soothing drug. The milk may be poisoned though, since those who drink it are dying in strange ways. Even worse is the discovery that those who taste the breastmilk are also found to be carrying an ugly parasite in their blood. The bloodsucker is half-monster, half-machine, and Detective Moglich must find its creator before it’s too late.
A Note From the Publisher
Other titles - The Bastard's Grimoire, Veterans' Affairs
“Touch No One hits the sweet spot, giving us the possibilities of a wondrous future and the believability of what people would likely and unfortunately do in it. It's gripping and gritty.” – David Atkinson, author of Not Quite So Stories
“I’ve never read anything quite like it. Touch No One is a surprisingly accessible read, tech-noir written in clean ‘detective fiction’ prose, veined with dry humor. I’ll be interested to see what regular readers of sci-fi and cyberpunk make of it, so mark it down on your TBR list. For me, it was a mind-blowing read.” – Adam Howe, author of Die Dog, or Eat the Hatchet
“From the surgically-altered milk-women to weaponized, genetically-tailored parasites, Touch No One presents a disturbing vision of humanity’s future.” – David Dubrow, author of The Blessed Man and the Witch
“Billed as a ‘cyberpunk mystery’, Touch No One is no simple genre read, but hosts a satisfyingly powerful blend of detective mystery investigation, futuristic settings, vividly evocative descriptions, and a story line that is supercharged with atmosphere and action.” – Midwest Book Review
“Touch No One is a gritty piece of cyberpunk noir with mass appeal. Joseph Hirsch combines various genres elements with a master wordsmith’s flair. When you read over 300 books in a year, a story must really be something special to stand out in your mind. Touch No One easily reads a cut above all the rest. Touch No One is an odd, sometimes uncomfortable read. That’s not a bad thing. Joseph Hirsch manages to weave an unconventional tale that will pique your curiosity and your imagination.” – Lilyn G., Sci-Fi & Scary, www.scifiandscary.com
“With Touch No One, Joseph Hirsch has resurrected the sci-fi pulp of yesteryear and done unspeakable things to the corpse. Hirsch has written either a love letter or stalker's note to the genre and added his own DNA to the pool. Swim at your own risk. It manages to be forward thinking, retro-feeling, funny and really fucking gross. I loved it.” – Jed Ayres, Peckerwood
Average rating from 6 members
Touch No One is a book that lulls you into a false sense of security with its familiar detective-noir narration, and then challenges you with the inclusion of cyberpunk sci-fi elements, before completely unsettling you with the ever-darker, and increasingly more complex, plot developments. What Joseph Hirsch has attempted here is rather bold and audacious, but it works surprisingly well. On that detective-noir, front we have the tired old cliché of a retired police detective turned private investigator, all cranky and suitably jaded, who agrees to take on an attempted murder investigation for the money. On the cyberpunk front, we have a world where body augmentation is standard, artificial intelligence abounds, and neural connections allow brains to serve (essentially) as discreet smartphones. On the plot development front . . . well, that's where things get interesting. This is a story involving augmented prostitutes, adult nursing, opium-laced lactation, freaky parasitic infections, the worship of ancient gods, conspiracies, and murder. Every time I figured the story had reached the pinnacle of weirdness (the giant crib with the freaky fetish totem breastpump was an early highlight), a new character or a new wrinkle was introduced. Hirsch takes his time with each development, drawing out the story between them, so it's not an assault upon the senses, but rather an infection of its own that keeps worming deeper and deeper into your brain. It is often creepy and gross, making you crave a Touch brand cuddle when you're done, but it (smartly) never crosses the line of eroticism. If you have an imagination broad enough to encompass the ideas, and don't need to be spoon-fed explanations for everything, Touch No One can be a dangerously addictive read.
Sometimes, despite their horrible book covers, a book surprises you. This is one of those times. The cover doesn't do the book justice, nor does it really have anything to do with the book. (Spoiler alert, there are no eyes on anyone's breasts, sorry) It's cyberpunk noir. It's a quick and captivating read. For fans of Philip K. Dick and Dashiell Hammett