moon sector police badge over a bustling space portThis seems to be the fifth Retrieval Artist book, but only the second I’ve read. As with the last one, I read this as a nominee for the Endeavour Award (given each year to a book by a northwest author). In this volume, Miles Flint returns to the moon in time to receive a frantic call from his mentor, Paloma, but too late to save her from being brutally murdered. The book is a fairly straightforward murder mystery from that point.

The mystery isn’t very mysterious. I don’t read a lot of mystery novels, but I’m sure there’s a word for books where the solution hinges on information that the reader wasn’t privy to and couldn’t possibly have guessed.

What keeps it interesting is that it leads Miles on a deep exploration of the continuum of ethics in the occupations he and Paloma pursue. Rusch manages to make a number of morally ambiguous characters simultaneously sympathetic and repugnant. It’s really a pretty impressive feat. It will be interesting to see if anyone changes their behavior as a result of the events of this book.