cover image Masterminds


Kristine Kathryn Rusch. WMG, $18.99 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-1-56146-625-2

Rusch wraps up the near-future Anniversary Day Saga, set in her Retrieval Artist universe, with this deeply satisfying eighth entry (after Starbase Human). For decades, conspirators have worked toward the destruction of colonies on the Moon, part of a plan to destabilize the Earth Alliance. Two attacks, caused by clones trained as suicide bombers, have created a crisis atmosphere; the third attack is designed to be the worst one yet. Familiar characters Miles Flint, Noelle DeRicci, and Det. Nyquist have small pieces of the big picture, but as their respective investigations bear fruit, they realize the true scope of the emergency. Now it’s a race against time to find the masterminds behind the bombings, identify the traitors in their midst, and defuse the crisis. Rusch juggles the ensemble cast and numerous plots skillfully, offering up a cerebral thriller that’s part mystery and part action-drama with a ticking countdown. The human element plays well against the tense atmosphere, and frequent scene shifts help provide a sense of momentum and foreboding. While it’s almost essential to have read the previous installments, this is a very strong payoff for the series. (June)