The new Retrieval Artist novel mixes space adventure with a P.I. novel, as Miles Flint again finds himself caught up in murder and mayhem, this time in a domed colony on the moon. Flint's job is to seek out the Disappeared, outlaws wanted for crimes against alien cultures, but lately he wonders if he's working on the right side of the law. Officer Noelle DeRicci is investigating a murder in the moon colony of Armstrong. When the victim turns out to be one of the Disappeared, Flint and DeRicci are caught up in political upheaval, as a war between humans and a mysterious alien race threatens the entire universe.
Mixing interstellar politics and police procedural, Rusch turns out a satisfying SF mystery. Flint's internal conflicts are deftly portrayed, and the gritty realism of the murder investigation meshes well with the alien setting. This fifth entry in the Retrieval Artist series should please SF and mystery fans alike, and can be read independently. (Apr., 384 pp., $6.50)
Jen Talley Exum