RogerBW's Blog

Caitlyn Morcos, Interplanetary Marshal Service, M. H. Questus 08 July 2024

2020 SF. The two top-ranked new Interplanetary Marshals go to Delta sector, where crime is out of control…

Though from the setup I was expecting something of a picaresque exposition of an Old-West-in-space series of frontier worlds, this book (intended as the first of a series, though others haven't appeared) is mostly confined to the sector's headquarters station—which is quite sufficiently infested with criminals and trators.

Sadly, the overarching plot (who is the traitor at headquarters?) was a bit of a let-down for me, as there are two people it could be and from there it's pretty easy to work out. (Still I am a regular mystery reader and very used to this type of problem.)

On the other hand there's a lot of fun to be had on the way. Morcos has to content with subordinates of dubious loyalty, a smuggler who's not a bad person honest, and other crriminals who are happy to keep smiling and cooperating right up till the hammer comes down. She spends most of this book trying to trace back an act of sabotage, even as witnesses start being blatantly murdered. This is solid two-fisted action even if most of the fighting is done with stunners and the occasional laser pistol.

The proofing is very rough, with the sort of error that would be caught by a standard spellcheck, repeated words in paragraphs, and even some misspelled names. I know a lot of books are like this now, even those from supposedly professional publishers, and there was nothing bad enough to throw me out of immersion, but it seems a shame.

I'd like to read more about these people.

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