I finished Gnomon by Nick Harkaway a few weeks ago but I haven’t quite been able to figure out how to talk about it. As I was reading the book, G would ask me about it and I wasn’t sure what to say. What is Gnomon about? How does one describe this book?

I’ll start by saying that it’s about a detective who’s investigating the murder of a woman. Neith works with the Witness, the all seeing, all knowing AI that runs things, but as she investigates she taken into a number of different worlds. How did the Witness come about? What is reality, is it the investigation or some of the other stories we’re introduced to? And how does all of this affect people?

As Neith investigates this death, of a woman who refused to live under the surveillance of the Witness, we’re introduced to a web of things that are impossible to untangle and honestly I’m still not totally sure what is the true nature of the world Harkaway has created. I’ll be pondering this book for a good long while and, even though I don’t reread things very often, this may get reread in the years to come.