cover image The Big Sheep

The Big Sheep

Robert Kroese. St. Martin’s/Dunne, $25.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-08844-4

Kroese (Disenchanted) demonstrates his creative imaginative worldbuilding in this sci-fi mystery series debut set in 2039 Los Angeles. The brilliant lead is Erasmus Keane, who prefers being called a “phenomenological inquisitor” rather than a private investigator. Aided by sidekick Blake Fowler, Keane is looking into the disappearance of a sheep named Mary, who had been genetically modified to host organs that could be transplanted into humans. The challenges of finding her are heightened when the duo are asked for help by Priya Mistry, a TV megastar, who fears for her life after getting a note warning her that someone is out to kill her. Priya is also freaked out by having appeared in a face cream commercial that she insists she never made. There are some amusing one-liners and Kroese’s future version of Chandler’s mean streets holds potential, but the promising opening isn’t sustained for very long. (June)