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I'm not certain if this was a novel or just a short story/novella, but it was a near-future cyberpunk sort of setting. At a guess I would have read this sometime between 2005-2015, but I'm not certain of that.

In the scene in question the protagonist is present while a team of forensic medics are working on the body of a young man that had been murdered, attempting to revive him from death long enough to interrogate him about his killer. They make use of a cocktail of various drugs, life support equipment, and engineered medical worms to brute-force his metabolism back into functioning.

The process works, but does not go as planned. As part of the process the medics were supposed to disable the victim's ability to see, allowing the interrogators to question the victim without them being able to see what was done to them and thus know that their revival is only temporary and brief. This wasn't done correctly and the victim sees what's been done to them, and the interrogators are unable to glean any useful information from them as the trauma sends them into a panic.

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    Not the story you're looking for, but if you quite like this sort of thing you should dig up an old TV series called "Pushing Daisies". I think it's up on HBO Max at the moment. Aug 4 at 15:48
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    Also not what you are looking for, but the first episode of Torchwood "Everything Changes" has very nearly the same situation (youtu.be/8bizbOvyfyo?t=176) Aug 4 at 17:52
  • Such a cool book Aug 4 at 18:50
  • Hah something reminiscent of this is also part of a quest chain in Stranglethorn Vale in World of Warcraft, at least the classic version(s). But with voodoo magic instead of sci-fi technology. Aug 4 at 20:37
  • I seem to have read something that began with the line “I hate attending resurrections,” which is not in Distress. Could it be Gun, with Occasional Music ?? yesterday

3 Answers 3

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Likely Greg Egan's novel Distress, you can read an excerpt with the scene of a recent murder victim being interrogated on Egan's site here. It includes a part where he realizes what's happened to him:

Then he reached up with his right hand and tore away the blindfold.

His head stopped jerking immediately; maybe his skin had grown hypersensitive, and the blindfold had become an unbearable irritation. He blinked a few times, then squinted up at the room’s bright lights. I could see his pupils contract, his eyes moving purposefully. He raised his head slightly and examined Lukowski, then looked down at his own body and its strange adornments: the pacemaker’s brightly coloured ribbon cable; the heavy plastic blood-supply tubes; the knife wounds full of glistening white maggots. Nobody moved, nobody spoke, while he inspected the needles and electrodes buried in his chest, the strange pink tide washing out of him, his ruined lungs, his artificial airway. The display screen was behind him, but everything else was there to be taken in at a glance. In a matter of seconds, he knew; I could see the weight of understanding descend on him.

He opened his mouth, then closed it again. His expression shifted rapidly; through the pain there was a sudden flash of pure astonishment, and then an almost amused comprehension of the full strangeness — and maybe even the perverse virtuosity — of the feat to which he’d been subjected. For an instant, he really did look like someone admiring a brilliant, vicious, bloody practical joke at his own expense.

Then he said clearly, between enforced robotic gasps: “I ... don’t ... think ... this ... is ... a ... good ... id ... dea. I ... don’t ... want ... to ... talk ... any ... more.”

He closed his eyes and sank back on to the table. His vital signs were descending rapidly.

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This is Distress by Greg Egan.

From this excerpt on Egan's site

All right. He’s dead. Go ahead and talk to him.”

The bioethicist was a laconic young asex with blond dreadlocks and a T-shirt which flashed up the slogan SAY NO TO TOE! in between the paid advertising. Ve countersigned the permission form on the forensic pathologist’s notepad, then withdrew to a corner of the room. The trauma specialist and the paramedic wheeled their resuscitation equipment out of the way, and the forensic pathologist hurried forward, hypodermic syringe in hand, to administer the first dose of neuropreservative.

Then he reached up with his right hand and tore away the blindfold.

His head stopped jerking immediately; maybe his skin had grown hypersensitive, and the blindfold had become an unbearable irritation. He blinked a few times, then squinted up at the room’s bright lights. I could see his pupils contract, his eyes moving purposefully. He raised his head slightly and examined Lukowski, then looked down at his own body and its strange adornments: the pacemaker’s brightly coloured ribbon cable; the heavy plastic blood-supply tubes; the knife wounds full of glistening white maggots.

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This might not be the answer the OP requires but it's certainly a partial fit and may be of interest to future readers looking for:

a near-future cyberpunk sort of setting. At a guess I would have read this sometime between 2005-2015...

The description of the 2013 NERDIST video "THE FINAL MOMENTS OF KARL BRANT..." (linked below) is:

Set in the near future where experimental technology allows two detectives to bring a murder victim back to life in a digital state in order to question him about his final moments.

For more Final Moments of Karl Brant head to: https://www.facebook.com/finalmoments...

Credits: Starring Paul Reubens, Janina Gavankar, Fay Masterson, Jon Sklaroff, and Pete Chekvala

Writer/Director/Producer: M.Francis Wilson

more credits...

In this case the complete memories of the victim were just moments before the murder copied to a digital form as part of an experiment.

The co-inventor of the technology (Reubens) was then required by the police to revive the victim in digital form.

It's a fun short film and worth a watch if you have 16 minutes.

Also viewable at DUST


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