Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Firebird-Jack McDevitt


Jack McDevitt

Ace, Nov 1 2011, $24.95

ISBN: 9780441020737

Karen Howard arrives at the office of Alex Benedict and Chase Kolpath wanting to hire them to find good prices for her late sister Elizabeth’s estate. After insulting Chase by demanding to meet with Alex, she explains her sibling was married to famous physicist Chris Robin who had theories on multiverse realties and vanishing ships before disappearing over four decades ago. Chase explains to Karen there is no market for items owned by a scientist. Alex tells Chase that Chris is famous for vanishing just outside his house; his junk should sell well.

Alex tells Chase they will look into the disappearance though they will not solve it as their investigation will drive interest and value up. Chase cautions Alex that if they solve the mystery value collapses. Thus they begin the odyssey when retired Dr. jerry asks about the Robin items. Thus the pair visits the Christopher Robin Society and soon travel to planet Villanueva, home to abandoned raging AIs while the inquiry turns as convoluted as the missing Abonai vessel that became “lost” six years ago .

The latest Benedict-Kolpath science fiction mystery (see The Devil’s Eye) is a great entry as the lead sleuths search for a lost astrophysicist that takes them on a wild adventure. Besides not pooh the name of the scientist, this is a fast-paced thriller from the moment Karen meets skeptical Alex. Fans will enjoy Alex’s narration of what happens to Chase and him as his partner leads him into several hair-raising escapades.

Harriet Klausner

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