Having now read all of the novels on the shortlist for this year's Arthur C. Clarke Award, I am glad to say that I finished on a high note. Rule 34 ticked a lot of my boxes, dealing with the relationships between small state-like entities (in this case, a near-future Scotland and a fictional Central Asian republic) and also with the relationships between law enforcement, social networks and artificial intelligence, as well as quite deliberately referencing Ian Rankin's excellent Rebus novels. My only serious stylistic quibble is that the second person voice, which was appropriate for Halting State, the game-centred previous novel in this sequence, seems a bit more forced here. But otherwise it's an effective mix of techno-horror and black humour, and I enjoyed it more than any of the other books on the shortlist.
(I will save my detailed assessment of the shortlist for the Not The Clarke Award panel on Saturday at Eastercon, but I'll just note here that although I enjoyed Rule 34 most, I still think The Testament of Jessie Lamb the best of the bunch.)