My rating: 3 of 5 stars
A hard-boiled, corrupt cop noir story infused with some science fiction. As a noir mystery/thriller, KOP is pretty good. As science fiction, it’s not so good. While the author manages to create a believable and consistent colony world, the science fiction extends no further than that. Neither the plot, nor the ultimate resolution, rely on science or any of the common science fiction tropes or themes. Simply setting your story on an alien world and giving the characters laser pistols does not make your book science fiction.
Still, I really dug the narrator’s voice, and the protagonist was a true anti-hero; refreshing in this current trend of being grim and angry supposedly makes a character an “anti-hero”. The mystery at the heart is nothing special, but the author’s talent (Hammond is a crime writer) manages to keep the twists believable and he keeps the reader from figuring it all out in the first 100 pages.
All in all I was disappointed in the lack of any real science fiction, but I enjoyed the story and the character enough that I bought the two sequels. If you are looking for a solid read and like noir detective stories, you might want to give KOP a try. The setting is well conceived if not particularly science fictiony, and the Hammond manages to add in enough detail to keep the verisimilitude going.