Like Atlas Shrugged, Fahrenheit 451, and 1984 before it, Govicide: Comply intertwines science fiction with political ideology to create a “this could happen” tale.
The story begins with Homicide Detective Michael Locke preparing to interrogate the perpetrator of a two-year murder spree of Govicide Agents: Hamilton. In the encounter, Hamilton answers Locke’s questions with talk of Pyramids, a famous person, and how the One World Government (the OWG) is not as it seems. Locke leaves empty-handed thinking he blew a chance at becoming a Govicide Agent. But, those thoughts take a back seat when he discovers his girlcomrade, Jade, is pregnant against an OWG mandate.
Nevertheless, when Locke’s superior at Homicide informs him the Govicide Director wishes to see the Detective, Locke jumps at the chance. He passes the interview, receiving a promotion even though he knows that if the OWG discovers Jade’s pregnancy, he and she will be banned from the OWG and eventually die. A possible escape hatch reveals itself when Locke’s new partner--a grizzled Govicide veteran, Alex Hiss-- tells him Hamilton’s murders were part of a bigger conspiracy. The Agent murders weren’t random at all but part of a plan to move cash--an unmandated tool of Offenders--around the World. Locke figures if he solves this even bigger case the OWG will let him slide on the unmandated pregnancy.
But, with the delivery of a note by a secret messenger, Locke finds out someone else knows of her pregnancy. Now, in a race against time, Locke must solve the case before the news becomes public. Along the way, he finds Hamilton’s cryptic, interrogation words starting to echo in his head, Hiss becomes more of a hindrance than a help on the case, cash starts to appear in remote locations all over the World, and upside down U’s start to appear--seemingly out of nowhere--wherever Locke looks . . . but no one else sees them.
In this futuristic thriller Michael Locke is a homicide detective who gets an unheard of promotion to Govicide Agent, an elite corps responsible for maintaining world peace, tranquility and compliance.
Locke’s perseverance in chasing and ultimately capturing a serial killer ostentatiously earned him this promotion. However, it is not long before he begins to get disturbing glimpses of an underlying rot within the exalted, error-free government. Locke searches for answers, even as he must come to grips with the unwelcome realization that he has committed a crime; one he is desperate to keep hidden.
I greatly enjoyed the concept of this story. It appealed to me strictly on an entertainment level, but it also captured my imagination on a deeper, more visceral level. About midway through, however, the book began to slow down. Later, it just dragged, and I felt cheated that many of the same issues were rehashed. I wanted it to move along faster. I wanted more action and a little less cognitive discourse. Still, I could not help but become mired in the nightmare of uncertainty that relentlessly punches holes in Locke’s perceptions, until he undergoes a hitherto unimaginable paradigm shift. This book is the first in a planned series, and while I was somewhat disappointed with the cliff-hanger ending, it did end logically.
Reviewer for Night Owl Reviews