With Outer Perimeter, Ken Goddard, the author of seven previous novels of suspense and science fiction beginning with 1983's Balefire, returns to the Oregon of his 1999 SF thriller, First Evidence. And he's brought the disgraced crime scene investigator, Detective Sergeant Colin Cellars of the Oregon State Police, and his shape-shifting, silicon-based, extraterrestrial life forms with him.|
Cellars, understandably, isn't in tight with his superiors just now. It seems that he and some friends (Bobby Dawson, forensic scientist and Cellars's erstwhile girlfriend Jody Catlin, and the NSA's Dr. Malcolm Byzor) recently blasted to smithereens a slew of police vehicles. They explained that the whole thing wouldn't have happened if they had not been in a life-or-death struggle with invisible, immensely intelligent, coldly murderous space aliens with half a mind to destroy civilization unless they reclaim some missing baggage.
Still, some 50 locals have disappeared, officers have been killed or nearly killed, DEA agents are lurking about, and the NSA has set up housekeeping in a "black operation" in the nearby piney woods. With that, OSP Internal Affairs Commander Hightower and watch commander Bauer have little choice but to turn Cellars and his coconspirators loose--but they ask him to please not rewrite those reports.
Cellars' eyebrows furrowed in surprise. "Why not?"
"Think about it. At the moment, given the discussion she and I just had with [police psychologist] Pleausant before you got here, there's no official reason why we can't put you back on the street immediately, and there's every good reason why we should. But if you were to write and sign an official report in which you claim to have killed a shape-changing extraterrestrial who immediately morphed into a small rock--"
A reasonably well-written (excepting a ridiculously expository phone conversation early on) if standard outing, this occasionally humorous, mostly engaging, and sometimes downright suspenseful book will, if nothing else, encourage you to revisit those early X-Files episodes you've been meaning to watch.
Source: Michael Hudson, Amazon.com.