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Places in the Darkness

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  957 ratings  ·  166 reviews
A propulsive science fiction tale of murder and memory, all set on a futuristic space station.

Hundreds of miles above Earth, the space station Ciudad de Cielo - The City in the Sky - is a beacon of hope for humanity's expansion into the stars. But not everyone aboard shares such noble ideals.

Bootlegging, booze, and prostitution form a lucrative underground economy for riv
ebook, 416 pages
Published September 19th 2017 by Orbit
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The accomplished Chris Brookmyre gives us a taut suspense filled crime thriller through the medium of sci-fi. In a departure from his usual fare, he locates to a space station of the future, The City in the Sky (Ciudad de Cielo, CdC), where there has never been a murder, no children, and is the site of important developing technologies for those on earth. Dr Alice Blake, representing the Federal National Governments on Earth, arrives on CdC set to replace the current Principal of the Securities ...more
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

I can never resist a good mystery in space! Chris Brookmyre blends the science fiction and thriller-suspense genres to give us Places in the Darkness, a gritty crime noir type story set hundreds of miles above Earth. Our story begins with a murder, though those in charge on board the Ciudad de Cielo are very keen to keep the details of it quiet. Officially, the space station’s reputation is that of a crime-free utopia wher
Nov 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This novel is an excellent combination of the crime and science fiction genres. Our main characters are Nikki Freeman, otherwise known as Nikki Fixx, and Dr Alice Blake. Alice is travelling to Cuidad de Cielo (‘the City in the Sky’), otherwise known as CdC, on behalf of the Federation of National Governments to replace the outgoing Principal of the Security Oversight Executive. She is there to weed out corruption and crime and that certainly exists on CdC.

The City in the Sky is a space station,
Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
3.5 Stars Video Review:
Places in the Darkness is a fantastic example of a genre crossover story. This book seamlessly blends together elements of science fiction and thrillers, will likely appeal to fans of books like Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty and Artemis by Andy Weir.

The writing in this novel was very strong. Brookmyre's experience writing fiction was clearly demonstrated by his confidence on the page.

The aspects of hard science fiction in this novel were particula
Mar 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
I havent read any books by Brookmyre and I understand that his crime is considered to be great. So its rare for him to write a scifi type novel. This novel combines great scifi elements with a typical noirish crime flavour. The scifi isnt too complicated but detailed enough to be more than your typical space opera fluffy scifi type novel. The crime is twist after twist type crime, with a real dark element to it. The City above the Stars or CdC or Seedee as they typically call it is a place w
I received this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This was one of the best books I've read this year. Tons of plot Twists to keep the reader guessing, an amazing setting and fantastic world-building (off-world-building?), and a great cast of characters made this a great deal of reading pleasure.

Aspects of noir, hard sci-fi, mystery, and multiple levels of whodunit make this a high recommendation.
Oct 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Been meaning to check out Brookmyre for a while and then saw this on Netgalley, so sure, why not, great, in fact. At least, on it were. I really liked the concept behind this, the space station miles and miles above us, built with two levels (just like it looks on the cover) as a sort of in between experimental place until earthlings can properly expand into populating other planets. But then, of course, the problem with many great concepts is execution, which was the case here twofol ...more
K.J. Charles
Brookmyre goes SF. I am a huge fan of his early stuff, but have not been able to get into the Jasmine Sharp books at all, so was a bit chary of this, but ended up enjoying it a lot. It's a well imagined SF setting with a good mystery, if perhaps a tad guessable. There's a huge range of POVs, all extremely well controlled (he really is a master at this) and with diversity of race, gender and sexuality. All the MCs and all the significant characters are women. I like this. I would say it's pretty ...more
Absolutely brilliant - such a clever and involving science fiction crime thriller.

I don't know why I forced myself to finish this. I thought surely there would be something eventually that made it all worth it, but nope. The characters were one dimensional, unlikeable and had no real growth. The mystery was boring and the reveal was anti-climatic. I pretty much skimmed at least 50% of the book... there was so much inner monologuing and repetition of thoughts etc. Just no... I did not enjoy this.
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Places in the Darkness is a Science Fiction Noir novel that tells the story about the first ever murder on the Ciudad de Cielo, a space station where people volunteer themselves to go work in the hopes of saving money and eventually returning to earth.

The first 100 pages of the novel are slow and slightly clunky. Brookmyre takes his time setting up the world, political field, and characters. Each of these elements plays an important role in the novel, so a certain understanding is imperative to
Jan 14, 2019 rated it it was ok
This author is better known for his crime novels, although I’ve only managed to read his science fiction ( Bedlam (my review)). This story is the author’s take on Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by PK Dick, but on a space station. It’s a science fiction/noir/hardboiled mashup. The pacing was lethargic at the begining of the book. World building was good at the expense of a lot of exposition. The crime story was well done. However, I thought it contained too many already well-worn science ...more
Nov 03, 2017 rated it it was ok
It's not you. It's me.

At least, that's what I tell myself to excuse the fact I couldn't finish the book. It had everything going for it- a compelling murder mystery set aboard a space station, a version of the closed room tale but set on a grander, futuristic scale. Perhaps it's the fact that October had such excellent reads in it. Perhaps it's the fact that I read this after Andy Weir's Artemis, to which the book has superficial similarities.

It could also be the writing style- I'm not a fan of
Dec 09, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I feel terrible writing a bad review of a Brookmyre book but I was so sadly disappointed by this one. It has none of his usual style or masterful use of language. Great chunks of clunky exposition are shoe-horned among stilted dialogue, while plot points are telegraphed 300 pages in advance. A main character lacks coherent personality, her responses and behaviours seeming to shift between chapters. If it wasn't Brookmyre I'd have given up by page 70. It did pick up around the 300 page mark (whic ...more
Dec 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
A bit of a slow starter that took me a while to get into but once it took off, it really took off. Tons of great questions on the nature of free will Vs post hoc rationalisation.
Karen Mardahl
Sep 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was an excellent tale that makes me want to read more of Christopher Brookmyre, even though I am more into the scifi mixture than a pure crime story. The story slowly turned into a page-turner, and then it had me on the edge of my seat for the last third or so. Dang! This was a great read! I like the description of the entire Ciudad de Cielo. It's not a clinical, detailed description. It's a human description in every way. Why some people like looking up at the sky to see the Earth and why ...more
Sep 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having enjoyed the previous two crime novels by Chris Brookmyre, I found this new one with a SF plot and setting was equally as good. Set on a space station some time in the future, it sees straight-laced super-smart Alice Blake arrive to become the new police chief. She soon goes undercover to monitor Nikki Freeman (known as 'Nikki Fixx'), a middle-aged police officer who has been on the station for 15 years, and is known to take bribes, run a protection racket and take sides in the ongoing gan ...more
Jamie Collins
Dec 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
Brookmyre, who is known for his Scottish crime novels (“tartan noir”), ventures into science fiction with his newest novel. This is a mystery which takes place on a space station in Earth’s orbit. It’s well written, aside from an excessive amount of exposition, and there’s nothing wrong with the plot or characters except that I didn’t much like them. I think other readers may enjoy this more than I did.

Brookmyre often focuses on cynical politics, and here the Powers That Be have deliberately kee
Set some time in the future on a space-station called Ciudad de Cielo or more colloquially CdC, which spearheads humanity's scientific efforts to colonise distant planets. Unfortunately the lofty scientific ideals are underpinned by a seedy underbelly where menial workers drown their sorrows, and supplement their incomes through prostitution, gambling and illegal fight clubs. The centre of this den of iniquity is Nikki 'The Fixx" Freeman, a former cop on Earth who runs a small-time protection ra ...more
Byron Thompson
Nov 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Places in the Darkness is a “buddy cop” story in the same vein as Lethal Weapon, 48 Hours, The Heat, or The Last Boy Scout. You know, the kind of thriller in which two mismatched people work together to solve a convoluted mystery. And this buddy cop story is set on a futuristic space station.

The author could have just used that space station setting as window dressing for the thriller. Instead, he did something much more interesting: he went for a genre-mixture. Because while Places in the Darkn
Sep 26, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: For crime readings who are interested in science fiction and vice versa
Shelves: science-fiction
An enjoyable read. Interesting for a crime author to delve into SF. I have read another Brookmyre book which I enjoyed more than this. I struggled to find the pace and the first half took me some time to get through. It did pick up. I liked the environment of CDC was interesting and well thought through. I would suggest that this is a great crossover book between two great fiction genres.
Bruce Hatton
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Once again, I find myself in total awe of the multifarious talents of Mr. Christopher Brookmyre. Like fellow Scots, James Oswald and the late Iain Banks, he occasionally likes to delve into the realm of science fiction. This novel is the perfect example of a futuristic crime story.
It is set on a space station called Ciudad De Cielo; a place originally designed as a starting point for colonizing distant planets. However, this remote outpost has gone the way of many terrestial frontier towns and b
Jan 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Places in the Darkness by Chris Brookmyre - Good

I'll preface this review: I love Christopher Brookmyre's books. I love his early comically inept criminal phase, his more serious (but still funny) crime novels and I also love Sci Fi novels, so this new Space Noir genre should be right up my street.

This is something of a departure for Chris Brookmyre. Set in an unknown future in Ciudad de Cielo - the city in the sky. CDC is part of mankind's future. The jump off point for exploring space. It is s
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read a couple of Bookmyer's before, crime fiction as I recall? Okay but didn't amaze me, then I saw this, his attempt at SCI-FI and was impressed.
A crime thriller in space!
Nothing more to say, it's a mystery and needs to be investigated in person.
Perhaps a little slow in the beginning, but the "scene must be set", if you're in the mood for space crime would recommend?
Frank Burns
Jan 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Brookmyre does space!
This was very good. I did feel the absence of the 'Scottish' that I expect from Chris but I can't complain about a compelling whodunnit in a well-realised sci-fi setting. Well rounded characters that occasionally made me giggle with a sense of postivity at the end. I can recommend.
Jun 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is not quite Chris Brookmyre's first go at writing science fiction – Bedlam is science fiction of a kind, and Pandaemonium is a kind of Buffy the Vampire Slayer-esque fantasy novel – it is, however, his first go at something approaching hard SF. Fans of his Jack Parlabane and Angelique Xavier books might want to bear in mind that it's not written in a comic register before deciding whether to proceed, but anyway...

It's a kind of unlikely buddy cop story in space. Imagine a gender-swapped v
Dec 27, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
In my opinion this book was predictable, cliched, boring and flat.

I've tried to find something good to say but I can't: plot is awful, writing is awful.

The cover is pretty?

That's it.
Apr 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
It's a 3.5 but I'm feeling generous. Enjoyable as an audio book
Martin Faulkner
Aug 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Pretty high 4, this - it's one of his best for me, and that's saying something.
Oct 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
For the first third of Places in the Darkness, I was swamped by frustrating jargon and inching along with the plot.

I'll give you an example:

'The mag-line is a low-energy electro-magnetic repulsion hover system for moving supplies around a vast network of sub-surface conduits. It's fully automated and computer controlled, crates having their details scanned and analysed at every junction and exchange so that traffic can be managed and in some cases prioritised. The network is so extensive that...
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Christopher Brookmyre is a Scottish novelist whose novels mix politics, social comment and action with a strong narrative. He has been referred to as a Tartan Noir author. His debut novel was Quite Ugly One Morning, and subsequent works have included One Fine Day in the Middle of the Night, which he said "was just the sort of book he needed to write before he turned 30", and All Fun and Games unti ...more