Inhuman Beings

Jerry Jay Carroll, Author
Jerry Jay Carroll, Author Ace Books $13 (256p) ISBN 978-0-441-00529-1
Mass Market Paperbound - 256 pages - 978-0-441-00612-0
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Former cop Goodwin Armstrong, 44, is a divorced San Francisco PI battling the forces of a chain franchise detective agency, Security Concerns, when psychic Ronda Rabin, aka Princess Dulay, hires him. She claims aliens have invaded the U.S. and are planning a hostile takeover. The rest of Carroll's second novel (after Top Dog) is a by-the-numbers run that uncovers the aliens among us in the San Francisco police chief and mayor and their missing wives. Mysterious communication failures, blackouts, a plunging elevator, a seagull attack and assorted arsons preceded by blue flashes bring Armstrong to reporter Gilmore Ford, who steps in to help when it appears the alien takeover is rapidly moving to the White House. Despite a few visually interesting scenes at a Renaissance Fair, and an exciting missile launching into the Atlanta headquarters of Security Concerns, Carroll's narrative loses energy long before its explosive conclusion. Moreover, too many echoes of cinematic/TV models--including Men in Black, Independence Day and The X-Files--drain the originality from this SF mystery/adventure. (July)
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