The year is 3324. In the region once known as Turkey, the Rasakans have attacked the technologically superior Oku. The war is a stalemate until the Oku commander, General Zane, abruptly surrenders. Merit, a staunch member of the Oku resistance, fights on, but she and her comrades are soon captured. An uneasy peace ensues, but the Rasakans work secretly to gain control of the prized Oku time-travel technology. When Zane is murdered, the Rasakans exert their control over Merit, the last person on Earth capable of Forensic Retrospection.
Merit, though reinstated to her old job by the despised Rasakans, knows she is only a puppet. If she refuses to travel back in time to identify Zane’s killer, her family and colleagues will pay the price. But giving in to Rasakan coercion means giving them unimaginable power. She has only three days to make this morally wrenching choice; three days to change history.
Set in the eastern Mediterranean in the 34th century, this carefully crafted whodunit from Larson (The Measure of the Universe) centers on former resistance fighter Merit Rafi, who, along with her tech team, is assigned to investigate the murder of her onetime military leader, Gen. Omari Zane. The general betrayed his faction, the Oku, by surrendering control to the Rasakans following a hard-fought war. After Zane is shot in his well-guarded study, Merit is tasked by her former Rasakan foes with solving the case using her special gift for Forensic Retrospection, a limited form of time travel. In addition to the challenges posed by the logistics and technology of retrospection, Merit must deal with the disconcerting involvement of her former lover, agent Eric Torre, in the case and an old rival from school, Lena Salim. Shifting timelines clearly notated in chapter headings and technological/theoretical discussions that readers can skim or chew over with equal enjoyment should make this speculative fiction mystery accessible to all closed-room murder fans.