Book Review 69 // Dreddlocked by Stephan Marley
Author: Stephan Marley
Publisher: Virgin Books
Page Count: 288
Commercial Fluff: Mister Cairo, private-eye and wild-psi talent, has been hired to find a missing alien call-girl. But following her trail into the dark Undercity, Cairo realises that more than one girl's life is at stake.
Where to begin. That is the truth of this tale I don't know where to begin. It doesn't feel like a Dredd novel. For over 95% of the book we follow a character known as Mister Cairo. Mister Cairo was born to a whore in the pleasure districts. His initial entrance into the world was brutal as his mother was soon killed by Judge Dredd or at least that is Cairo's belief, he is also a twin but more on that later. Left to grow up in the system Cairo became a private eye in MC-1, and even developed psi abilities that even the Justice system couldn't find. As a character in a world of unemployment he seemingly is financially sound as he owns a hi-tech personal vehicle with state of art clocking devices and A.I systems. I can't workout if it is all bought with his cases payments or if he got them by using his psi abilities.
The story starts as a murder and kidnapping that leads Cairo to discover his mutant twin brother and head into the Undercity to rescue the lady. Ultimately throughout the tale Dredd randomly turns up to remind us this is a Dredd, tale but I don't see the point. The story reads like a pulp novel that just happens to be set in MC-1. Cairo seems to be the luckiest, most skilful man in the world and even a comment is made that he can outdraw Dredd. I'm just left feeling Marley wanted to showcase Cairo and this was his best chance at getting him into the real world.
It would be an easy tale to ignore and not miss anything from. I doubt I will revisit anytime soon. A real shame. Sadly the characters seemed flat and dull and the real lack of Dredd hurts this tale.
Oh well can't win them all.