The narrator, Jake, and his partner, MC, have been assigned to the Android Squad, the lowest spot in the Cleveland Police pecking order. Jake’s girlfriend, Maggie, is a detective in the Robbery/Homicide division. When their cases intersect, it becomes crucial to figure out who is reprogramming the androids, turning them into assassins.
This short novel zips along with lots of action, lots of interesting inter-personal interaction, and lots of geeky events.
It’s not clear exactly when the story is set—several hundreds of years or more in the future. There are near-perfect androids and a surveillance system that keeps track of where everybody is at all times. However, most of Cleveland, its buildings, its transportation system, its layout, hasn’t changed much in those years. Transportation is still primarily by cars—though they have auto-pilot features now—and freighters still squeeze around the tight bends of the Cuyahoga River to deliver ore. A somewhat hybrid world, but that didn’t detract from the story.
The title of the novel draws a parallel between the evil person/entity programming the androids to be assassins and the mental disorder called Munchausen Syndrome by Proxie, in which the disordered person causes harm to another person (someone in their care, most often a child) in order to draw pity and sympathy to themselves. It’s not clear that the analogy fits. There may be some other connection to “Munchausen” that I’m not aware of.
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)