Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Furnace-Timothy S. Johnston

The Furnace

Timothy S. Johnston

CreateSpace, Sep 19 2011, $14.99

ISBN: 9781466276659

In 2401 AD, Confederate Combined Forces Security Division, Homicide Section Lieutenant Kyle Tanner investigates crimes at the most isolated locales in the solar system. His success rate is much greater than his colleagues because he cares about the family members of the butchered victims. Thus he obstinately stalks deadly predators with a determination fueled by his need to tell the loved ones he executed the monster. Other investigators do not give a damn about the victim or those grieving the loss.

In a dive on Mercury, Tanner captures Quint Sirius who killed his only friend. After he breaks his prisoner’s kneecap, he takes him to CCF Headquarters. CCF Lieutenant Commander Bryce Manning informs Tanner that earth wants him to go to SOLEX One, an energy gathering station closer to the sun than Mercury. SOLEX One Command Group Chief Jace Lassiter explains there are six officers, four scientists and five crewmen until someone murdered and mutilated crewman James Chin. His assignment is to find the killer. The station Captain Fredericks greets him with disdain while the Systems Officer Shaheen Ramachandra welcomes him. However, Tanner finds no motives for the death, mutilation or the related fire as the cause is much more insidious to both ends of the pipe line.

This is a great science fiction locked station mystery as Tanner is only the second visitor to SOLEX One. The key to the exciting thriller is the futuristic world of Timothy S. Johnston feels real whether it is the tunnels of Mercury or an isolated energy gathering station. Tanner is terrific as a caring yet kick butt protagonist. With a delightful late twist, readers will appreciate this early twenty-fifth century whodunit and why.

Harriet Klausner

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