Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Devil's Eye-Jack McDevitt

The Devil's Eye
Jack McDevitt
Ace, Nov 2008, $24.95
ISBN 9780441016358

In the far future, famous horror writer Vicki Greene leaves a message of despair with antiquities dealer Alex Benedict. Soon after dispatching her note, Vicki has her memory expunged.

Alex and his pilot companion Chase Kolpath follow a series of clues that take them 36 light years away to the rimway of the galaxy. Apparently Vicki was conducting research there for her next novel. Something or someone panicked her. Soon after arrival at the edge of nowhere Alex and Chase are harangued by officials who want them to leave or else. The pair begins to unravel a pandemic crisis threatening Salud Afar, but are swept aside by government officials and bureaucrats and it seems too late to safely evacuate the residents.

The latest Alex Benedict futuristic science fiction novel (see SEEKER) is a superb action thriller that focuses on how central governments act and react to internal emergency crisis especially concealing critical information. The story line is fast-paced with a deep cautionary message that those in charge will choose to save face not people. With a nod to the Bush response to Katrina, fans will relish this strong exhilarating thriller in which the spin does not just supersede the need, it is the need as far as those in charge are concerned. This is the genre at its extrapolating best.

Harriet Klausner

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