Titanium Noir

A Novel

English language

Published May 2, 2023 by Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

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5 stars (3 reviews)

Cal Sounder is a detective working for the police on certain very sensitive cases. So when he’s called in to investigate a homicide at a local apartment, he’s surprised by the routineness of it all. But when he arrives on scene, Cal soon learns that the victim—Roddy Tebbit, an otherwise milquetoast techie—is well over seven feet tall. And although he doesn’t look a day over thirty, he is ninety-one years old. Tebbit is a Titan—one of this dystopian, near-future society’s genetically altered elites. And this case is definitely Cal’s thing.

There are only a few thousand Titans worldwide, thanks to Stefan Tonfamecasca’s discovery of the controversial T7 genetic therapy, which elevated his family to godlike status. T7 turns average humans into near-immortal distortions of themselves—with immense physical proportions to match their ostentatious, unreachable lifestyles. A dead Titan is big news . . . a murdered Titan is unimaginable. But these …

4 editions

An SF noir to get your teeth into

No rating

I really liked this noir mystery that wasn’t just gritty for the look of it. The influence of T7 and Titans on society was great food for thought, and I spent a bit of time wondering what being “human” would mean in such a world.

The entire story’s told in first person, present tense by Sounder. He’s an interesting character to follow around and competent without being smug or suspiciously lucky. I did initially wonder if he was hiding something special about himself to be doing the kind of job he was, but there were no gotcha moments of that sort.

I enjoyed the other characters a lot. They all felt like they were living their own lives with their own murky motivations rather than their actions revolving around Sounder and his case.

Plenty to get your teeth into in this SF noir

An enjoyable, dark thriller in a weird world

4 stars

None of Harkaway's books are quite like one another, and they're all worth your time.

Like the pulp that inspires it, Titanium Noir is a short piece that rolls along a brisk pace. The protagonist, Cal Sounder, is a bridge between two worlds. He lives and works as a detective, doing private work and consulting for the police of Chersenesos, but has ties to the level of society occupied by those so obscenely wealthy their very being is a mixture of unsettling and glamorous both for the other characters and for us readers. When crimes involve one of these hyper-rich, Sounder is brought in to smooth things over. The book starts with Sounder arriving on scene for a crime much too complex and messy for the easier fixes he's used to.

Sounder navigates a crime, a world, and a story in which power is manifested very directly as something brutal …


  • English literature