I have just finished Matthew Hughes' novel Hespira. Like in the first two books in the series, the story is about future private investigator, Henghis Hapthorn. He's a bit full of himself but rather funny. There are plenty of wonderfully weird and fascinating details, such as the fact that Hapthorn's intuition has moved out and now lives in a separate body and the equivalent of a personal computer is turned into a cute little creature called a grinnet, who's like a mix of cat and monkey.

The story is set in Earth's 'penultimate' age - a bit like in Jack Vance's The Dying Earth, and is scientifically based but is changing into an era of sympathetic association, meaning magic. Hapthorn isn't looking forward to that, without his intuition.

In this book, Hapthorn accepts a seemingly simple case, but it leads to unexpected complications that force Hapthorn to leave 'Old Earth' for a while. At the same time he meets a mysterious woman who's lost her memory. He takes her along on his trip. While travelling, Hapthorn and Hespira run into more mystery.

The two earlier books didn't work completely for me, though I loved some of the ideas. This book feels a lot better though I have a feeling there was nothing actually wrong with the other two, it's just that I prefer the plot in this one. On the other hand I'm looking forward to re-reading the other books. Maybe I'll feel differently about them now. There's also a collection of stories about Hapthorn that I'm going to try and get my hands on.

The series about Henghis Hapthorn are science fiction books that are a little different to what I'm used to, but I can recommend them to anyone who likes science fiction, mystery and fantasy. I wish there were more books in the series about Hengis Hapthorn. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Hughes will write another one.

This book wasn't available as a paperback which would have been my first choice. It wasn't even available in hardcover, except at a ridiculous price (from about 90 dollars?). I have no idea why. It's a shame though, since I have both the other books in the series in paperback.