Tek Power

William Shatner, Author Putnam Publishing Group $19.95 (220p) ISBN 978-0-399-13997-0
Though told with humor and at a brisk pace, Shatner's sixth yarn featuring futuristic PI Jake Cardigan (Tek Secret) is so overstocked with cardboard characters, nearly each of them trying to do damage to another, that it's sometimes difficult to tell who is doing what to whom. Here, the head of the Cosmos Detective Agency asks Jake and his partner, Sid Gomez, to identify and track down the murderer of his daughter-in-law. The investigation takes the two gumshoes from their base in 22nd-century Los Angeles to New York and Washington, D.C., as they bump up against a plan to replace the president of the U.S. with an android while he's in rehab kicking his addiction to ``Tek,'' a computerized, mind-altering drug. Several luscious lovelies, of varying degrees of bitchiness, comprise the female characterizations, while Jake remains a tough-and-tender PI cliche, role model and caregiver for his 16-year-old son. Gomez, too, ultimately comes off as just another stereotypical Latin lover (``I've always got time for ogling,'' he crows). Overall, this reads like an uninspired blend of Raymond Chandler and Philip K. Dick, but given the success of the previous Cardigan books, as well as the author's Star Trek allure, it'll probably climb the charts at warp speed anyway. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/31/1994
Release date: 11/01/1994
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