384 pages. Acknowledgments.
This novel is the first in The Galactic Cold War series, but is also the sequel to The Caledonian Gambit.
As the novel begins, a mission to exfiltrate an imperial defector has backfired, leaving Commonwealth operative Simon Kovalic wounded, out of the action, and grieving a dead colleague.
Yet they have discovered that a key rendezvous will soon occur on Bayern, the galactic banking world… but can Kovalic's team function effectively without him? (And with his ex-wife in command!)
Eli Brody, the dysfunctional pilot from the previous novel, returns as the newest member of Kovalic's team.
This is an espionage adventure set in a sci-fi world a lot like our present-day – well, except for the starships, an evil galactic empire, and an underground city of bankers. The author is attempting to blend Pulpish sci-fi with the tough, gritty spy genre. He has a humorous writing style, and either I'm getting used to it or he's cut it back a little from the last novel.
I had problems with the previous novel, as I found the characters uninteresting and the mix of Pulp and gritty realism didn't work for me. This time out, the characters have been improved and the setting is mostly Pulp sci-fi (though the author can't resist throwing in some 'gritty realism' at the end).
Can you wargame it? There are several gunfights that could inspire tabletop scenarios.
I mostly liked this novel. Recommended.
Reviewed by Editor in Chief Bill .