Rule 34 is the second of Stross's near-future police procedurals, taking today's information infrastructure into the next logical (significant) step, seeing where that leaves the police and the criminal world, and them pitting them against each other.
This was fun. The thinking is twisted here, as our protagonist runs the "rule 34" squad in her police headquarters --- the guys who try to stamp out the most vile of online pornography. That's not really the focus of the book, but it sets a tone and lets you know that twisted stuff is not off the table. And it makes the first half of the book really (oddly) enjoyable.
The narrative follows a few primary characters, and a handful of minor characters in Stross's now-familiar second-person form. The first time I read this style it really threw me off, but I'm getting the hang of it now and don't even really notice.
As seems to be true of most books I read, the ending felt rushed; I think many authors see their deadlines approach and really speed through the back halves of their books. But the confusion I had at the end of Stross's prior "Halting State" didn't happen (he's either writing better, or I was warned and paid closer attention).
But despite that all, this is a great picture of what-might-be sometime in the next thirty years or so. I like these glimpses of the future, when it's a future I might actually live to see, and Rule 34 really shines in that light.
4 of 5 stars.