cover image Dead Space

Dead Space

Kali Wallace. Berkley, $16 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-1-984803-72-6

With propulsive action and twists that keep the reader guessing, Wallace’s page-turning sophomore novel (after Salvation Day) spins a locked-room mystery set on an asteroid mining colony. After a terrorist attack against the spaceship transporting workers on the Titan Research Project leaves scientist Hester Marley with two metal limbs and a suffocating amount of medical debt, Hester finds work as a Safety Officer for Parthenope Enterprises, a powerful corporation in the asteroid belt. She plans to keep her head down, work off her debt, and return home to Earth—but that plan is derailed when David Prussenko, a colleague from her past, is killed just hours after sending her an enigmatic message. Hester’s investigation leads to a claustrophobic mining base, where she finds herself trapped with the murderer. Remarkably, most of the action takes place in just 24 hours, the mystery unraveling at warp speed as the violence escalates and the stakes steadily mount. Hester is a fascinating, troubled, but not overly dour narrator, who must use her wits and past experiences—which are teased out in flashbacks—to solve the murder and stay alive. This tense sprint through a future dominated by profit-driven amorality makes for a gripping, cinematic sci-fi thriller that readers won’t want to put down. [em]Agent: Adriann Ranta Zurhellen, Foundry Literary. (Mar.) [/em]