Future Mysteries of Paris, Book 2
"My name is Sacred Temple of the Radiant Dawn, but you can call me Tem. For a hundred euros a day plus expenses you can also hire my services. I am a private detective. My main talent? The gift of transparency, which allows me to go around unnoticed. But which also obliges me to dress correctly in order not to be unnoticed."
The man in the green hat, a detective in his own right and a keen follower of Nestor Burma, has a knack of stumbling on corpses, especially murdered ones. In this peaceful world, that really doesn’t seem lucky… another quirk of fate, his talent for being invisible, so practical for tailing people, is a serious handicap to any normal relationship. This explains his partiality for unusual head gear and loud clothes, to stop him being just a shadow slipping through the net of reality. At least remember his name, Sacred Temple of the Radiant Dawn, but you can call him Tem.
Symbols of a society split up into sects and tribes following the original mysterious Great Terror, all the characters of these adventures are initially improbable but inevitably endearing – Eileen, indifferent enough to Tem’s talent to fall in love with him; Gloria, the anarchistic artificial intelligence; Ramirez, Zamal-smoking collector of inaudible techno CDs; Ludwig, Tem’s godfather, a notorious crook and a guru of a crazy sect researching into thinking in binary language, etc. Add to these a myriad of demons, gods and archetypal beings, such as the formidable Red Dragon, born from the collective unconscious and left behind by the Great Terror!
This time, Tem is not on the trail of a murderer, but on that of a science-fiction novel written by his grandfather, stolen from a foundation library. He soon discovers that all the copies seem to have disappeared, perhaps stolen by a creature uncomfortably resembling a cartoon character.
Apparently we get the friends we deserve. In this case, I would like someone to explain why, from about eleven billion human beings on our planet and its immediate neighbours, I have inherited Destin-Sauvé Ramirez. Because I don't know what I have done to deserve him.
2064. In order to find out about the identity of his friend Ramirez's father, Sacred Temple of the Radiant Dawn (call him Tem), the detective with the gift of transparency, leaves the capital and ventures into the Plessis-Robinson district.
Trapped in a ghost town, attacked by a criminal coalition of archetypes and demons emanating from a faultline threatening "agreed reality", Tem awaits the help of his friends, one of whom being the aya Peggy Sue, the daughter of the libertarian and sadly missed Gloria.
24 hours of weird and fantastic adventures under the strange but well-intentioned watchful eye of the mysterious Babaluma.
8. Kali Yuga
This time Tem investigates political spheres on behalf of an elected representative who is not altogether lily-white: electors have massively taken their names off the electoral roll between the first and second stages of the elections. Manipulation, collective conscience or hypnotism? An encounter with a telepathic Neanderthal forms a backdrop to all this...
9. Mine de rien
You won't believe it, but…
The Radiant Dawn Agency is flourishing to such a point that Tem decides to hire his Zamal smoking friend Ramirez on a temporary basis. But Odon's escape spoils the party a bit, for, if Tem feels it's his duty to help Trovallec, he is afraid of finding himself face to face with Red Dragon...
This investigation leads Tem into the psychosphere for the first time where he is accompanied by the sinister Skullhead. Tem doesn't know whether he is an archetype or something even stranger. Together they meet Hieronimus Bolgenstein, who makes revelations of capital importance about the meta-history of the Future Mysteries and the nebulous complexity of conspiracies and various plots which take place in the murk of the technotrans.
The whole work is interspersed with comments in the form of interludes worthy of any self-respecting sports journal on the subject of Weltraumball, a variation of football on interplanetary dimensions, giving rise to debates, complex rules about microgravity and the role of spinners, reaper-sweepers or dancers, about the Martian colony being allowed into the championship and dramatic dope taking, etc.
A superb book.