Among the giants: Titanium Noir, by Nick Harkaway, reviewed

Roddy Tebbit is a quiet, tidy professor researching lake algae. His calendar is largely empty and his apartment has no family photographs. A colleague remembers him as ‘shy to the point of being rude’. Why somebody would put a bullet in his skull is unclear, yet this is how the cynical gumshoe Cal Sounder discovers him at the beginning of Nick Harkaway’s slick novel Titanium Noir. We soon find out that the dead man’s unremarkableness was deceptive. On the mortuary slab he easily clears seven feet end to end, and though he has the face of a man in his mid-forties, his driving licence puts him in at the start