Buried Deep by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
A cold case starts it all—human bones discovered beneath the Martian soil in the alien Disty’s main city. The Disty evacuate, believing the area contaminated. Forensic anthropologist Aisha Costard investigates and discovers that the bones belong to a woman last seen thirty years before.
But the woman didn’t vanish, nor did anyone believe her dead. She Disappeared, along with her children, after being charged with crimes against an alien civilization. Costard believes the children hold the key to this mystery, but she can’t find them on her own. So she returns to the Moon to hire Miles Flint.
As Flint investigates, events move swiftly around him, and suddenly what began as a simple murder case turns into an incident that might destroy the entire solar system…
A very well written book. I really liked Miles Flint and Sharyn Scott-Olson. De Ricci was OK. I really, really disliked Ki Bowles, and hated the Disty. I wish there was a little more involving Scott-Olson and less of De Ricci and Bowles. I found the murder mystery more interesting than the inter-species interactions.
This was my first Retrieval Artist novel to read. I’ll likely read more since I liked the main character. But I could have done with more background of the relations between species, I was a little confused at times how people should be acting toward one another. It was a little jarring seeing an alien species claiming Mars as their own, when it’s in our solar system and we settled on it first. Not having a good grasp on the inter-species relations, or what the species major beliefs are, reminded me quite a bit of an anthropologist wading into a new culture without knowing anything about them. The Disty death avoidance actually seemed a little like the Navajo death avoidance turned up to eleventy.
The story was plotted out pretty well, with lots of interlocking pieces. The story was paced well, but the last 100 pages really flew by in no time. The timelines for travel from Mars to Earth seemed really compressed though. Just a few hours, really? That’s hauling butt. There was a point near the end where I questioned the physics of the trajectory, but perhaps that particular trajectory requires constant acceleration.
The book was formatted well, with no obvious spelling/grammar errors. For some reason the eBook, purchased as part of a bundle, didn’t like my Nooks. I couldn’t get it to load at all on the one NST. I did get it to load on my NSTG, but the page turns were exceedingly slow.
On a side note, I discovered that one of the people I used to do child seat checks with is the niece of the author and was named after her. It’s a small world after all.