"Science fiction police procedural"
In the far distant future earth is just a memory as
humanity has colonized countless worlds in numerous
galaxies. One aspect of civilization remains the same:
when there is people there is crime. The planet Tashista
with its strict class system has bred a whole underground
of millions of people engaging in some form of criminal
activity. Crime and poverty abound in the Nashamata, the
lowest class of society in the city of Soshambe.
A serial killer known as the Scarab has killed twenty
seven people over a two year period but since the victims
were Nashamata, authorities didn't use all the resources
at their disposal to catch the killer. In his third year
of killing, The Scarab's first victim is the Prefect of
Kishamkur's son and he uses all his considerable power to
bear to make the catching of the killer a number one
priority. Helping them is a pattern analyst and private
detective Sandor Dyle who gets pulled into the
investigation because the case interests him and almost
becomes the killer's last victim.
This science fiction police procedural is action packed,
exciting and will appeal to readers of both genres. The
only way to rise above one's present class is through
credit and the Nashamata have very few venues to earn a
living forcing them to turn to crime to eke out a
subsistence existence. Tashista is a fascinating if bleak
place, a society that has isolated itself from the rest of
the civilized universe because it doesn't want to be
contaminated by outside ideas. SCARAB is a fascinating
mystery with many unexpected red herrings to divert the
reader away from the true killer.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted March 10, 2004