Review: Eternity Falls, by Kirk Outerbridge

Eternity Falls, by Kirk Outerbridge (Marcher Lord Press, 2009)

Rick Macey is one of the best at tracking down—and shutting down—terrorists and other high-profile criminals. No longer working for the US government, he takes on projects that catch his personal interest. The novel opens with him in pursuit of a serial sniper, and the pace doesn’t slow as he jumps into a new case.

The year is 2081 and the future is a grim place where I wouldn’t want to live despite the technological advances. Cars have an auto-pilot feature. People have “neural nets” that sound like internet-enabled brains, only better. Science’s quest to extend human life has gone beyond cloning and cyborgs to the “Miracle Treatment” that lets people live forever.

The problem: one of the Treatment’s early takers has been found dead of natural causes. Macey’s assignment is to prove it’s the result of terrorist activity. He takes the job because the sole clue points to a memory from his own past.

Macey knows all the tricks, and he’s an excellent noir-type detective. He’s paired with the self-centred but attractive Sheila Dunn from the Miracle Treatment company’s head office, and as danger throws them closer together he tries to keep his distance. Macey has too many secrets for romance.

Eternity Falls has a satisfying number of twists, turns and revelations. The stakes start out high and get higher, masterfully woven by the author. This does not feel like a debut novel; it has complexity and depth and a detailed back-story that surfaces in bits and pieces as needed, to keep readers guessing.

I wasn’t sure if I liked the novel at first. The world is so dark. And the first characters to claim allegiance to God are either terrorists or seem like cult members. Knowing Marcher Lord Press, I reasoned there had to be more to the faith element than this. And I decided I trusted Macey even if he was surrounded by unlikely individuals.

Eternity Falls is billed as a cyber-thriller, dark PI fiction and cyberpunk. It’s high-tech, darker and more violent than I usually read, and Macey finds some interesting spiritual insights while he’s trying to keep himself and Sheila alive. He’s a fine story hero.

If you like thrillers and science fiction, and you’re not afraid of characters who mention God, check it out. I enjoyed it and I’ll be looking for more from Kirk Outerbridge. You can read a sample of Eternity Falls here.

You can read an interview with Bermudian author Kirk Outerbridge here. Eternity Falls is his first novel, and winner of the 2010 Carol Award for speculative fiction. A second Rick Macey novel is now out as well: The Tenth Crusader.

[Review copy from my personal library]