#CBR12 Bingo: Book Club (this was a pick in my fantasy/sci-fi book club a few months back)
Offical book description:
Hundreds of miles above Earth, the space station Ciudad de Cielo – The City in the Sky – is a beacon of hope for humanity’s expansion into the stars. But not everyone aboard shares such noble ideals.
Bootlegging, booze, and prostitution form a lucrative underground economy for rival gangs, which the authorities are happy to turn a blind eye to until a disassembled corpse is found dancing in the micro-gravity.
In charge of the murder investigation is Nikki “Fix” Freeman, who is not thrilled to have Alice Blake, an uptight government goody-two-shoes, riding shotgun. As the bodies pile up, and the partners are forced to question their own memories, Nikki and Alice begin to realize that gang warfare may not be the only cause for the violence.
This book, a science fiction mystery from an author I’d never even heard of, was the June selection of my local fantasy/sci-fi book club. We met up in a park for the first time in several months, responsibly distanced at least six feet apart, to discuss it. As is often the case, I had started the book (in this case, the audio version), but had only gotten about ten chapters in and was unsure of whether I wanted to continue or not. The rule at our book club is that you’re absolutely welcome to show up even if you haven’t finished the book (or read it at all, which seems to happen a lot with a lot of the members), but you don’t get to be upset if you get spoilers. I think it’s a fair rule. Happily, the book club meeting and subsequent discussion made it clear that the story WOULD pick up and that the mystery was interesting and had an unusual outcome.
So I kept going with the book, and while it isn’t going to be one that I’m likely to remember for years to come, it ended up being entertaining. I liked that while the book was written by a man, both the main protagonists are women, and no point was there anything that made me think this author should be made fun of on one of those “men writing women badly” lists. The characters may be quite tropey for a mystery, one is a middle-aged former police detective with a haunted past who has now given up a bit and is involved in local corruption, while the other is the up-and-coming, talented and ambitious administrator from a privileged background – yet in so many of these stories, these characters would be men.
Full review on my blog.