Mark W. Tiedemann has a reputation for psychologically complex and strongly plotted short fiction (see, for example, his contributions to Vanishing Acts and Sirens and Other Daemon Lovers). He uses these traits to great effect in his first novel, a robot mystery set in the world created by the late Isaac Asimov. In a future where humankind is divided into three broad coalitions--Earther, Spacer, and Settler--positronic robots are governed by the three laws of robotics, designed to make it impossible for them to harm a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human to come to harm. However, positronic robots are outlawed on Earth.|
The book opens as a Spacer delegation arrives on Earth to negotiate the repeal of the antirobot laws. Special Agent Mia Daventri is assigned to security for the Earther negotiating team, along with a specially modified robot, Bogard, the only one of its kind on the planet. Neither human nor robot is able to prevent what happens next, something that should have been impossible: the public massacre of both negotiating parties. Mia survives the assassination, thanks in part to Bogard--who does not act according to design specifications--but her life is still in danger. Bogard and Mia join forces with returning franchise characters Derec Avery and Ariel Burgess to unravel the corporate and political conspiracy behind the slaughter of the diplomats.
Dialogue and plot are crisp and tight, and the characters are distinct and multilayered. This is superior franchise fiction, designed for adults with a taste for mystery and rigorous logic. An ambiguous ending hints at future installments.
Source: Luc Duplessis, Amazon.com.
Senator Clar Eliton of Earth and Ambassador Galiel Humadros of Aurora hope to alter the strained and explosive relationships between Earth and the Spacer and Settler Worlds. But as the Spacers arrive on Earth to begin the conference that will reconcile decades of mistrust, assassins strike down Eliton and Humadros and their staffs. In the chaotic aftermath, Derec Avery-and Ariel Burgess-join forces, to penetrate an insidious conspiracy that sprawls across Earth, Spacer, and Settler worlds and threatens to bring them all to the brink of war.