Here we are again with the Dispatcher series. What weird pseudo-murder mystery do we have in store for us this time?
Oh… it’s about… crypto currency. Fun.
When the world is struck by the global pandemic, Tony Valdez must give up his opportunity to work with the police force and return to his work as a Dispatcher. One day on the job, an old friend of Tony’s arrives in the hospital, mortally wounded and refusing Dispatch, hiding a card that could well be the key to a vast fortune of crypto currency. Soon, Tony finds himself embroiled in a plot of corporate subterfuge with Chicago’s elite. Will he be able to keep his friend, or even himself, safe?
As you might have gathered, this book is a bit more grounded in real life than the last two. Sure, people still come back from being murdered for some reason. But they’ve also got to deal with a post-COVID world and crypto scams making people rich and stuff like that. Which I’m honestly not too excited about, but maybe that’s because I’m still reeling from having lived that stuff.
Well, except the getting scammed part. Because I’m stupid, but not that stupid.
The plot here is… okay. It’s an intricate web of corporate subterfuge and corrupt deals and stuff like that. It’s fairly engaging and comes to a pretty satisfying conclusion.
One thing I love is how this book explores the darker side of a world wherein people can just pop up from being murdered. We see how the heartless rich elite have created disgusting twisted games of torture and brutality, justifying it with the excuse that they’ll be able to fix it with a Dispatcher on hand. It can get pretty grotesque and it’s really fucked up. It was easily the most interesting part of the book.
My main problem is with the characters. They’re just not all that compelling in this entry. Things happen to them and they react and they say witty things, but I just never got emotionally invested in any of them. Especially since pretty much everyone is an asshole to everyone, so it’s hard to like anyone.
I dunno, maybe that’s just how it is in Chicago.
Travel By Bullet was okay. It was short enough that none of its shortcomings became a major issue, so it was still an enjoyable story. But will I ever go back to it? No. Probably not.
This feels like a decent point for the Dispatcher series to end. The limits of this premise are starting to make themselves known. If it were to wrap up here, I wouldn’t have any complaints.