cover image Crimes Against Humanity: Under Jurisdiction, Book 8

Crimes Against Humanity: Under Jurisdiction, Book 8

Susan R. Matthews. Baen, $16 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-1-4814-8371-1

Matthews’s second novel (after Blood Enemies) since the relaunch of her Jurisdiction series is a tightly styled, simply plotted examination of ambition, obsession, and the many faces of justice, played out in a military SF setting that is deeply informed by the author’s own military experience. Andrej Kosciusko, former torturer for the established order of Jurisdiction, has decamped to Gonebeyond space. Rocked by crises, Jurisdiction is reaching out to its exiles to find a new path forward—and so are some other elements who would like to tip the boat over. One of these is the Witt crime syndicate, whose boss nurtures an unhealthy obsession with “Black Andrej.” He delegates Danyo Pefisct, another ex-torturer, to incapacitate Andrej with an engineered virus and transport him back to Jurisdiction. But the Gonebeyond coalition is engaged in military operations against slavers, with all the chaos and displacement of war, and Danyo’s task becomes knotted into the lives of hundreds. Matthews does yeoman’s work in contextualizing characters and past events; nevertheless, this is a book for fans. Its depth of allusion and unique, dense grammar of inverted clauses and subjectless sentences require firsthand familiarity to resonate. Agent: Jennifer Jackson, Donald Maass Literary. (Jan.)