By Algis Budrys

Rating: 3 stars

Lucas Martino is one of the West’s greatest physicists, working on the highly experimental K-eighty-eight. An explosion in the lab changes all that, as the Russians get to him first and keep him for four months. When he is returned he’s as good as new… except for the metal replacement head they’ve given him. His Western masters are left with a dilemma: how can they tell that the man behind the metal head is Martino?

This is an intriguing novel of identity, although it shows its age both through its Cold War roots and the fact that DNA can’t be used to establish identity. We see things both through Martino’s eyes and those of the Government agent assigned to track him to try and determine just who he is. Mostly I found this a strong story, but the ending somewhat threw me. I’m still not sure what to make of it, but I’ll certainly be looking out for more Budrys

Book details

ISBN: 9780006154082
Publisher: Fontana
Year of publication: 1958

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