Captain Jani Kilian’s life should have ended in front of a firing squad. Instead, she evaded battlefield justice by dying in a transport crash. End of story, according to official Commonwealth Service records.
But doctors repaired her in secret, using the most advanced Service Medical technologies available, or so they assured her. In the last days of the idomeni civil war, she escaped their homeworld of Shèrá, and spent the next 18 years on the run.
But someone like Jani leaves a trail no matter how hard they try to hide it, and she soon learns the Service hunt for her never ended. When Interior Minister Evan van Reuter, her former lover, tracks her down and begs her help in finding his wife’s killer, she has no choice but to agree.
The search takes her to the Commonwealth capital of Chicago, a hotbed of political intrigue as dangerous as any warzone. As the danger mounts, so do Jani’s struggles. Her rebuilt body is breaking down, and memories long suppressed are flooding back. Of one horrible night 18 years ago, and the gut-wrenching decision that changed her life forever.
Smith's tightly plotted SF thriller debut is an ace--sure to appeal to readers who appreciate well-drawn characters and sophisticated milieus. An ex-soldier and Commonwealth diplomatic liaison, Jani Kilian has spent the last 18 years working as a paper-pusher under assumed names, trying to stay ahead of her past. As a trusted member of a human diplomatic team once sent to establish relations with the alien idomeni, Jani and her team were caught in the middle when her commanding officer took sides in an idomeni civil war. Presumed dead during the conflict, Jani was captured and patched up with experimental idomeni augmentation in a secret and highly illegal idomeni/human research project. She's been on the run ever since she escaped--until her old lover, Evan van Reuter, now Commonwealth Interior Minister, tracks her down to ask for her help investigating his wife's mysterious death. Now, without giving away her own identity, Jani must take on a dangerous task of finding the answers to questions someone wants to keep secret. Complicating matters, the information she uncovers stirs up memories of her own traumatic past. Smith balances a taut mystery with vivid characters and a complex, ever-evolving plot--a feat more experienced authors don't always achieve.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Code of Conduct
Very enjoyable; I love strong female characters. Having lived in other cultures, I found her straddling of two cultures to be very believable. It started slowly and I almost didn't continue, but I'm very glad I did. Looking forward to the 2nd book.
Once started I had to read to the end
Well written and no grammar errors to upset my OCD!
Now it was just hard for me to understand the new to me language. Several times I vowed I was not going to read anymore and I would find myself reading more.
In spite of my difficulty in comprehending the language and sometimes having to go back to figure out the characters again, I finally finished the book! And was disappointed I was at the end of the book!
You will have to read it your self to decides if it is for you.
I am sure I will read another of this series.
Might make more sense if you read it backwards
Major world building going on here -- well more like the would is already built and you are dropped into it without a glossary or dictionary. The book is a who-done-it mystery, but it's more of a mystery as to why-done-it. Author has at least four names for all the characters: first, last, nickname and title, and flips between them sometimes multiple times in a sentence. Very hard to follow. The ending wasn't up to the work required to make it that far.