The Punch Escrow is a fun exercise in the possibilities and dangers of future tech. Joel and his wife are on their way to a second honeymoon when a terrorist bomb damages the teleportation center just as Joel is traveling from NY to Costa Rica. The disruption in the process produces evidence of the true nature of teleportation (a well-guarded secret) in the form of a duplicate Joel, one still in New York, and one in Costa Rica.
With a virtual army of enemies, spies, mad scientists, and religious fanatics all trying to capture the Joels and their wife to serve their own ends, the story is fast-paced and exciting. Mostly. There are a couple of points where I felt the narrative bogged down with a bit too much of the “What?” and “I don’t understand.” or “Why are you doing this?” going on. Still, it’s a fun story with a protagonist (two of them) who is a smart-ass, with the emphasis on smart.
This is a fast read. There’s nothing heavy here, not even philosophical questions which might have been heavier in different hands. But narrated by a less-than-serious hero, the story never indulges in too much moralizing about the inherent dangers of unfettered technological development.