|Date Published||18 March 2021|
In the near future, software has been devised that predicts the future with surprising accuracy. The only problem is that being given the probability that you will die the next day is not necessarily what you want to hear. Nor do you want to discover that analytic software identifies you as a potential murderer.
The show is the first of a pair of exhibitions by the celebrated designer Alexander King, in memory of a dead model, his first muse and the object of his obsessive adoration. The second show is due to take place in London the next day.
Christian Verger, newly appointed Police Commissioner of the Met, faces the dilemma of managing this second show. He is newly separated from his fiancée, Viola, a software designer, who is also, unbeknownst to Christian, a lifelong friend of Xander King.
In this time, Alexa has progressed from a vocal assistant to someone with the capability of completely running your life, analysing your reflection in the mirror to assess your state of health and monitoring your mood by what you are doing.
More sinisterly, Alexa now also sets your schedule from your diary and habits and is loath to deviate even when instructed to do so. In this time of driverless cars, Alexa can control where you are going. Alexa also predicts the future, giving probabilities of what you will do and even, scarily, predicting the probability that you will die that day.
The day after the explosion in Manhattan, Alexa gives Christian a 99.74% chance of dying that day. Christian has a ticket to the fashion show and is also the lead on the investigation in London.
This whole concept makes for riveting reading, especially when handled with Felicia Yap’s level of expertise. The book flows at an incredible speed and I was constantly amazed at the amount I read in each sitting. The descriptions are flawless, the characterisation is perfect, enabling me to step rapidly into the mindset of all of the main protagonists and actually care about each of them.
The relationships between all of the main characters is handled deftly and with great detail but do not expect to know everything all the time, as the book discloses interesting further information at satisfying intervals.
Future Perfect is excellent in every way. I look forward to the film.
Reviewed 21 September 2021 by John Barnbrook