Harkaway’s second novel Angelmaker is a far better book than his first, despite showing a similar range of preoccupations. There are still martial arts training, a big showdown with a fearsome villain, strange conspiracies, and incomprehensible technology with basically metaphysical effects.
This story has for its hero Joshua Joseph Spork, a “clockworker” with a gangster heritage, and it concerns the immanentization of the eschaton by means of mechanical apiary. Although set in the early 21st century, the novel includes recollected episodes from throughout the 20th–largely thanks to a key alternate protagonist, superspy Edie Banister. The whole thing is told in a hectic Pynchonesque style that I greatly enjoyed.
A lot of the sensibility of this book has been taken up again in the later Jack Price novels by “Aidan Truhen,” and while the tale of Crazy Joe Spork is sometimes as funny as Jack Price, it also includes a little more serious reflection and attempts to deal with “deep” concerns.