01/04/2021

๐Ÿ“š๐Ÿ“– Tex Murphy and the Poisoned Pawn – a Novel by Aaron Connors ๐Ÿ“š๐Ÿ“– @aaronconners #BookReview

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Having been a fan of the Tex Murphy games since the early nineties, it was only in late 2018 that I realised that there were a series of books based on the video games. The novels are written by author Aaron Connors – who is also screenplay/story writer on the games - and, after reading and thoroughly enjoying The Pandora Directive, I was lucky enough to get some time with Aaron for a GF interview back in 2019:

https://www.gamesfreezer.co.uk/2019/04/interview-with-aaron-conners-author-of.html

Since then, I’ve been keenly awaiting the arrival of Tex Murphy and the Poisoned Pawn for more futuristic private detective action and I’m pleased to say that it is absolutely worth the wait and another awesome chapter in the ongoing Tex Murphy story.
For those not familiar with the series, Tex Murphy is an out-of-his-time private investigator in a post-apocalyptic San Francisco, circa 2040. An easy-going guy in a tough world that relies on his charm and wits as he flits from case to case in his trusty Lotus Speeder, pulled into world-ending plots by shady corporations, seductive gals, friendly mutants and Scotch-swilling, rotund old friends. A lot happens on Chandler Avenue.

Tex Murphy and the Poisoned Pawn is set in 2050 but also spends a lot of time in 2037, as Tex recounts his very first case to his associate Count St Germain. St Germain believes that someone has been playing Tex since the start of his career but who? And why?

Connors’ writing style is sharp as ever in this, the fourth entry in the Tex Murphy series, following Under a Killing Moon, The Pandora Directive and The Tesla Effect. Tex Murphy and The Poisoned Pawn is a great example of hardboiled detective fiction, delivered from a man who knows his subjects well, having been involved with Tex since 1994’s Under a Killing Moon. This intimate understanding means that there’s real character and warmth in the book, which, combined with the pacey writing and twisting, unfolding narrative means that you don’t so much ‘read’ Poisoned Pawn as ‘fall into its world and events, letting them ensconce you in their wordy embrace’.


The fact that this book spends time covering Tex’s first case – played out in the video game medium as Mean Streets (1989) and Overseer (1998) – means that it is also a great starting point for newcomers to Tex’s world. Should you be more of a listener, there are also audiobook versions available at http://www.aaronconners.net/ for your aural pleasure. These are read by Aaron Connors, himself.

As much as I love the Tex Murphy video games, Aaron Connors’ novels really flesh out Tex’s world and give extra layers of depth without feeling bogged down and overly dense in complex lore and history. 
Tex Murphy and the Poisoned Pawn comes highly recommended from us at Games Freezer. A recommendation not only for the fans of the series but for anyone that loves a good, hardboiled tale starring a wise-cracking gumshoe. Also goes well with a good cup of coffee. Armageddon Blend, natch.

All the Tex Murphy books & audio versions can be found at - http://www.aaronconners.net/
Shout out to Bjorn Ottesen for the awesome cover art!
Britt

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