cover image Recovery Man

Recovery Man

Kristine Kathryn Rusch, . . Roc, $6.99 (374pp) ISBN 978-0-451-46167-4

Rusch continues her provocative interplanetary detective series with healthy doses of planet-hopping intrigue, heady legal dilemmas and well-drawn characters. On Jupiter’s moon Callisto, Hadad Yu, a glorified bounty hunter known as a Recovery Man, kidnaps Rhonda Shindo for delivery to the alien Gyonnese as payback for a reneged legal settlement. Meanwhile, Shindo’s preteen daughter, Talia, has just discovered that she’s a clone of her mother’s birth-daughter; left behind, she faces a doubly confusing world as lawyers, cops and her mother’s employer fight over child-custody rights. Meanwhile, Miles Flint, series protagonist and PI-like Retrieval Artist, discovers a secret in his dead mentor’s files—a secret that suggests his daughter, long thought dead, may be alive somewhere on Callisto. Rusch creates instantly sympathetic characters in a convincingly fragmented future wherein the petty mistakes of one culture translate to heinous crimes in another. Though Flint’s role this time around is meager (largely following the proverbial paper trail), alternating perspectives help other characters transcend their stock types; damsel-in-distress Rhonda proves refreshingly manipulative, and even the villainous Recovery Man wrestles with his convictions. Science-fiction fans should expect to be hooked. (Sept.)