From debut author Elizabeth Bonesteel, The Cold Between is the start to a stellar military science fiction series that combines hints of mystery and romance with action and adventure in the tradition of Elizabeth Moon, Linnea Sinclair, and Lois McMaster Bujold.
When her crewmate, Danny, is murdered on the colony of Volhynia, Central Corps chief engineer, Commander Elena Shaw, is shocked to learn the main suspect is her lover, Treiko Zajec. She knows Trey is innocent—he was with her when Danny was killed. So who is the real killer and why are the cops framing an innocent man?
Retracing Danny’s last hours, they discover that his death may be tied to a mystery from the past: the explosion of a Central Corps starship at a wormhole near Volhynia. For twenty-five years, the Central Gov has been lying about the tragedy, even willing to go to war with the outlaw PSI to protect their secrets.
With the authorities closing in, Elena and Trey head to the wormhole, certain they’ll find answers on the other side. But the truth that awaits them is far more terrifying than they ever imagined . . . a conspiracy deep within Central Gov that threatens all of human civilization throughout the inhabited reaches of the galaxy—and beyond.
Bonesteel's space opera debut, the first in the Central Corps series, expertly revitalizes familiar plot elements. When Treiko Zajec, a retired starship captain, connects passionately with Elena Shaw, chief engineer of the central government's ship Galileo, their affair interferes with a scheme to stir up galactic unrest. Elena's intensity and Trey's steadiness are challenged as they try to prevent bloodshed and begin peeling back the layers of deceit created by agents of government and big business. The story's pieces are formed with standard SF tropes, but Bonesteel keeps the plot moving briskly. She's even better at showing the wary tenderness between the ill-matched lovers, especially when it comes to how much Galileo's emotionally repressed captain, Greg Foster, yearns to be with Elena. The headlong action will attract readers, but they'll find themselves paying more attention to the characters' convincing and satisfying emotional relationships.