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Selei City is the capital of the Imerialte and one of the most desired locales in all of the Skolian Empire. But its thin veneer of civilization is cracked when a series of brutal crimes implicates those in political power in a vast conspiracy. Three prominent scientists have lost their lives to a serial killer—and notes at the scenes of the crimes lead to a connection to the Royalist political party.
Major Bhaajan, former military officer turned private detective, is called back to Selei City to solve the crime. Bhaaj and her crew of Undercity Dust Knights plunge into the Byzantine world of Imperial politics—a jigsaw world where none of the pieces seem to fit. As the assassination plot becomes more and more convoluted, Bhaaj is kidnapped, threatened with death, and must fight for her life against the growing number of people threatened by her investigation. Bhaaj has faced all this and more, but now she must deal with something far deadlier—interstellar politics.
At the publisher's request, this title is sold without DRM (Digital Rights Management).
About the Major Bhaajan series:
". . . riveting. . . . The world is rich and vivid, with two distinct cultures in the Undercity and the aboveground City of Cries. This exciting novel stands alone for anyone who enjoys science fiction adventure."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Asaro plants herself firmly into that grand SF tradition of future history franchises favored by luminaries like Heinlein, Asimov, Herbert, Anderson, Dickson, Niven, Cherryh, and Baxter . . . They don't write em like that anymore! Except Asaro does, with . . . up-to-the-minute savvy!"—Locus
"Baahjan, who starts out keeping an emotional distance from the people in the Undercity soon grows to think of them as her community once more. Asaro . . . returns to the Skolian empire's early history to tell Bhaajan's story."—Booklist
"Asaro delivers a tale rich with the embedded history of her world and bright with technical marvels. Her characters are engaging and intriguing and there is even a bit of romance. What really touched my heart was Bhaaj's interaction with the children of the aqueducts. I spent the last fifty pages of the book sniffling into a tissue."—SFcrowsnest
"I‘m hooked, both on her writing and her Skolian universe. This book had everything I wanted: strong characters, a new and unique world, and a plot that isn't as simple as it first appears."—TerryTalk
Catherine Asaro has an M.A. in physics and a Ph.D. in chemical physics from Harvard. She has appeared as a speaker at many places, including Harvard and the National Academy of Sciences, and as a Guest of Honor at science fiction cons in the US and abroad. She is a member of SIGMA, a think tank that advises the government as to future trends. A former ballet and jazz dancer, and now a vocalist, she has performed at clubs and conventions. She is the creator of the popular Skolian Empire Saga, a science fiction series that includes The Ruby Dice, Diamond Star, and Carnelians from Baen. Other books include near-future technothrillers Alpha and Sunrise Alley, also published by Baen Books. Catherine is a resident of East Setauket, Long Island.