Dining Out on Planet Mercury is the fourth, and probably last of the Dining Out around the Solar System series. A futuristic London is the setting for our intrepid journalists as they fight for the underdogs of the solar system – in this case, the Mercurians. I’ll miss this series; it’s always been one to look forward to. But it does take me one step forward in my #SpacetimeReads reading challenge.

Dining Out - Planet Mercury

Dining Out on Planet Mercury (Dining Out #4)

by Clare O’Beara

When a girl from Mercury is suspected of murder, the police need Irish journalist and hacker Donal as interpreter.
Off-world workers are being exploited in more ways than one.
With a British Parliamentary election under way, the police need to keep fear and suspicion from getting out of hand.
At such times, not even London’s Eye reporters are safe. Can Donal and his Jafraican colleague Myron uncover the truth?

This book is a standalone read in the series Dining Out Around The Solar System, and follows DINING OUT WITH THE GAS GIANTS. (goodreads)

My Review

It’s been an astonishingly long time since I read the other books in this series, but I looked forward to it just as much, if a little confused by the cover. All is revealed about halfway through – and I won’t spoil it for you!

Donal and Myron, our intrepid journalists, are mired in the usual problems of their trade: restrictions on reporting during an election; snooping security people temporarily replacing their usual staff, interviewees cancelling at the last moment… and a murder suspect needing an advocate who speaks Mercurian. That would be Donal, then.

Dining Out on Planet Mercury creates the usual full-sensory experience of a future London suffering in the throes of climate change, immigration and general sleaze. As well as night clubs, entertainment and booze. I mean, the city is as vibrant as ever.

Clare O’Beara wrote this in 2017, and the one thing that doesn’t work for me now, in 2022, are many of the tech bits. I know the problem… my ‘qwatch’ in my first scifi story was supplanted by a Fitbit in reality several years ago. Ms O’Beara’s prescience about how the world works in terms of ticketing, paying for stuff and most of the minutiae of everyday life is already in my hands. I think Covid brought contactless forward a step faster than expected. Nevertheless there are still marvels of technology yet to be invented, although, not having hung out in London for a while, who knows? The business card embedded with an app to play its advert on any public hoarding as you pass is genius!

The story works well, though, and the people and characters as rounded and believable as you could wish for. It’s a great future world, and I’m going to miss it. But I can always reread them!

Book Review | Dining Out on Planet Mercury by Clare O'Beara: 'full-sensory experience of a future London suffering in the throes of climate change, immigration and general sleaze' #scifi #journalism #London #crime Share on X

Book Review | Dining Out on Planet Mercury

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