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    Review of MARKET FORCES by Richard K. Morgan (see his website)

    Ballantine Books, March 2005

    Chris Faulkner is a man on the move. He's used his driving skills to kill one famous driver an defeated others and now he moves to one of the hottest companies out there. But Shorn, his new company, doesn't believe in sissy stunts like dragging one of Chris's injured opponents to the hospital. Now that Chris is playing in the big leagues, he faces some tough competition. As he learns to party and kill with the big boys, his marriage begins to deteriorate. But the worst comes when he realizes that some of his worst enemies are within his own company.

    Author Richard K. Morgan spins a darkly dystopic near-future where a form of capitalism runs amuck. Road Rage has become a formally recognized method of resolving disputes and private companies have taken over small wars, funding guerilla movements or repressive regimes in return for control over the economies. The CIA and former Russian intelligence agencies are now private companies, still doing assassination and gun-running, but doing it for profit rather than for some supposed national interest.

    The dark future world of MARKET FORCES is intriguing. In a world where every government function is considered for privatization, why not warfare? And managing third world economies for private corporate benefit is as old as the Roman Empire and the Banana Republics of Central America. Still, I thought the car-wars element was a big far-fetched.

    What kept MARKET FORCES from being as compelling as I'd hoped, and as the intriguing world should have allowed, was the protagonist's character. He seemed too willing to abandon his wife and chase after the beautiful reporter. He gave up his relatively peaceful ways too quickly, almost happily. I didn't really get a sense of struggle or sacrifice on his part. Still, the action moves fast, the car-wars stuff is a lot of fun, and the whole dark futuristic feel makes MARKET FORCES a book to read.

    See more reviews of novels by Richard K. Morgan.

    Three Stars

    Reviewed 5/14/05

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