Paul Donner is a NYPD detective struggling with a drinking problem and a marriage on the rocks. Then he and his wife get dead–shot to death in a “random” crime. Fifty years later, Donner is back–revived courtesy of the Shift, a process whereby inanimate DNA is re-activated.
This new “reborn” underclass is not only alive again, they’re growing younger, destined for a second childhood. The freakish side-effect of a retroviral attack on New York, the Shift has turned the world upside down. Beneath the protective geodesic Blister, clocks run backwards, technology is hidden behind a noir facade, and you can see Elvis at Radio City Music Hall ever night. In this unfamiliar retro-futurist world of maglev Studebakers and plasma tommy guns, Donner must search for those responsible for the destruction of his life. His quest for retribution, aided by Maggie, his holographic Girl Friday, leads him to the heart of the mystery surrounding the Shift’s origin and up against those who would use it to control a terrified nation.
However, in the second half of the book I felt things dragged a bit, and found it easy to predict what was about to happen. I knew quite early on what one of the big gotchas would be, and that soured things for me a bit. This book was best when the sudden violence and twists were out of the blue.