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Skinjob by Bruce McCabe

book cover of Skinjob

A good neo-noir thriller with a feminist message. A company, Dreamcom, has developed sexbots (‘dolls’) to the point that they’re practically indistinguishable from women, and encourage men to act out their most depraved and sadistic fantasies at their dollhouses. One day in San Francisco, a bomb goes off in one of these dollhouses, levelling the building and killing everyone inside. Daniel Madsen is one of those tasked to investigate.

Obviously the novel gets to an awkward point where Madsen and his ally, Shahida Sanayei, are racing to save more dollhouses and their patrons from getting blown up, but that’s the nature of the genre. McCabe does not shy away from exposing the misogyny at the heart of the sex industry, and in this light the highlight of the book is probably Madsen’s interview with a feminist activist he suspects of being involved in the bombing.

In short, if you stand for women’s liberation and like thrillers, this is definitely a book you should read.

★★★★

a cartoony avatar of Jessica Smith is a left-wing feminist who loves animals, books, gaming, and cooking; she’s also very interested in linguistics, history, technology and society.