Three books in one post!
In his science fiction William Gibson has a way of capture the future and present of society through technology as few others have. This is not the least true in his near past SF Blue-Ant trilogy. The three book series capture the confusion and trends of the first decade of the new millenium. The books could probably be read separately, but there are returning themes and characters, and mode that make the them belong as a series.
It begins in Pattern Recognition , set in 2002. We follow Cayce Pollard, working in the marketing industry and having a special physical reaction to brands and logos. While trying to fit in to the confusing world just after the New York terror attacks she is hired by the somewhat mysterious company Blue Ant to find the source of a set of online video clips.
Blue Ant, and it's founder Hubertus Bigend show up again in the second book, Spook Country . This time it's journalist Hollis Henry who is hired to write an article about virtual art for a magazine that doesn't exist. We also follow Tito, a young Cuban from operative, as well as Milgrim, adicted to prescription drugs. The different plot threads come together very neatly in the end, at a location quite familiar to me at the time.
The third book, Zero History , sees the return of Milgrim this time working for Blue Ant, as do Hollis Henry again, searching for Gabriel Hounds, a brand that is not a brand in the fashion industry. Their clothes made popular not from exposure, but from being enigmatic. This book also focus more on Blue Ant and the inner workings of Bigend's company.
Entertaining and sensitive to the currents of the time.