Victor Gollancz, 2000, Hardback, 236pp, £16.99
ISBN 0-575-06865-5

Eye & Talon is the fourth Blade Runner book (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is counted as number one), I read the first but have missed the interim pair; however this part stands securely enough without them. In fact, given that this is the fourth book I did wonder what exactly Jeter has been doing in the preceding interval.

Iris is a blade runner for LAPD, in fact she's the blade runner for LAPD, their brightest and best, but her career goes somewhat awry when her boss hands her a supposedly plum job tracking down an owl that once belonged to the now defunct Tyrell Corporation. It's not a blade runner job and Iris is reluctant to take it but there are dark, disturbing and hidden reasons for her reassignment…

Two things worried me immediately upon picking up Blade RunnerTM: Eye & Talon. Firstly, that TM sign, which hovered around every mention of the words "Blade Runner" on the title the book's jacket, and secondly that the inner dust-jacket blurb made no mention of what the book was about, but only of the fine pedigree Dick's book and Scott's film together confer and how this addition to the Blade RunnerTM vision is a fully "authorised" addition by an "acclaimed" author.

Which is great, I'm very glad, but couldn't we be given just a little bit of information about how the "acknowledged heir to the spirit of Philip K. Dick" intends to "carry forward the vision of BLADE RUNNERTM?

As it turns out Eye & Talon is not a bad book, it twists and turns through a plot Dick might have been pleased with and cleverly incorporates large amounts of detail from Scott's film. Jeter writes individual scenes well, although I sometimes suspected he had been hamstrung by the constraints of writing a series of Blade RunnerTM novels.

Our eye on the action, Iris, is both infuriating and infuriated. She conveniently meets conveniently well-informed characters at convenient intervals… and Cheshire Cat-like they tell her almost nothing, which is cute and mysterious enough to begin with, until they keep on doing it and it simply becomes tedious. Even Iris herself always wriggles out of actually finding anything much out until the very end, so that although Eye & Talon could make up about one-third of quite a good novel it's used to fill all of a rather thin one.

Buy it from