Clare Fergusson is the new priest at St. Alban’s Episcopal church in Miller’s Kill, New York (“kill” is a term for a body of water, most commonly a creek, but can also be a tidal inlet, river or strait). Clare isn’t your typical priest, not only for her gender but also for her background as a tough Army chopper pilot.
A newborn infant is left at the church rectory door which brings her together with the town’s police chief, Russ Van Alstyne, who’s also ex-Army and a cynical good shepherd for the stray sheep of his hometown. Their search for the baby’s mother – and intense pressure from potential adoptive parents – quickly leads them into the secrets that shadow the town.
Clare is characterized as intelligent though pushy at times, and she often goes beyond the expected for a non-authorized police snoop. She also occasionally does thoughtless things like going off by herself in a dangerous situation. Nevertheless, she’s a likable character and the story here is well told. The author keeps readers guessing until the mystery is solved, or at least most readers. I guessed with about twenty pages to go, but enjoyed the book to the end. The relationship between the priest and the (married) Sheriff will no doubt develop in future books in the series
I have so many books stacked up right now I don’t know when I’ll get to the next in the series, but look forward to it. These have very well drawn setting and interesting characters. Good for an afternoon or two.
Irontown Blues by John Varley – science fiction. The last Varley I read before this was back in 1979-1984, when I read his Gaea trilogy, consisting of Titan, Wizard and Demon. Honestly I didn’t like the second and third of those books very much, and only finished them to finish the trilogy.
I read a review of this one that got me interested, so I tried it and I really liked it a lot.
This is labeled an “Eight Worlds Novel” and there are three previous ones, The Ophiuchi Hotline, (1977), Steel Beach (1992) and The Golden Globe (1998), neither of which I’ve read, and I didn’t feel at a loss in not having done so when reading this book.
The book’s protagonist, Christopher Bach, was a policeman in one of the largest Lunar cities when the A.I. Lunar Central Computer had a breakdown later called The Big Glitch. The problem turned into all-out urban war. When order was restored, Chris’s life was changed by his role in the conflict. He went private, assisted by his genetically altered dog Sherlock – a wonderful character! – and emulates the tough guys in the noir books and movies that he loves.
When Bach takes the case of a woman involuntarily infected with an engineered virus, he is on the hunt to track down the biohackers in the infamous district of Irontown. He’s in for much more than he bargained for. This is a noir mystery/SF novel set on the moon with great characters and sense of place. Recommended.
I plan on getting and reading the other Eight Worlds novels.
So how about you?
What have you been reading?