The third book in the Retrieval Artist –series turns up the stakes even more than the previous ones. There are also more plots and more point-of-view characters than the previous ones so the pacing feels more urgent as well. But at the same time it’s not messy or hard to follow. Also, much to my delight I found out that the series is easily available at Audible.com which is great because the first three books are out of print and hard to get.

Good: pacing, plot, characters
Not-so-good: –
Bad: –

Like the first two books, Consequences starts with a short flash about a crime being committed; presumably the crime that’s going to be solved this time or a crime that is intimated related to the crime(s) being investigated. Then we see one of the main characters, Miles Flint, at the end of one of his assignments. He has done his job and found one of the Disappeared, Carolyn Lahiri, who is meeting her parents for the first time in decades. Both Flint and Carolyn are nervous about the meeting although probably because of different reasons.

Then the scene jumps back six months when Doctor and Judge Lahiri are meeting with Flint because they want to hire him to Retrieve their daughter. Carolyn fought on an alien planet, Etae, in a war. Even tough her side won, she has been a wanted criminal for a long time. Now, at last, she has been pardoned and her parents want her back. However, Flint isn’t as trusting that all is what it seems to be. But when he finds out that Judge Lahiri has already started to trace her on his own, Flint agrees to the job so that Carolyn can at least be warned. Obviously, he finds her and she agrees a bit reluctantly to meet with her parents.

After the events in the previous book, Noelle DeRicci has been promoted to one of the assistant Chiefs of Detectives and she has grown to like her new position. The one drawback is that it’s purely a desk job. So, when her boss Gumiela assigned a case to her, DeRicci knew that it might have some political aspects. The case is the murder of three people: Judge and Doctor Lahiri and an unidentified woman. DeRicci goes to work with the customary no-nonsense attitude. Unfortunately, the case yield little leads until they find a video of a man coming into the apartment. The man bears a striking resemblance to Miles Flint. Flint refuses to help DeRicci but he starts to investigate the matter on his own. The two former partners seem to be on an inevitable collation course.

At the same time, a group of Earth Alliance diplomats are preparing to meet in secret a representative of a world which has recently gone through bitter warfare and is known for using terrorist tactics. The world is called Etae. The representative herself, Anatolya Döbryn, was the leader of the former rebel group who overthrew the previous government. Many consider her a very dangerous terrorist who should be on trial for crimes against humanity. However, all she cares about are her people and getting aid to them. Almost at any cost.

The book has deep themes that match the name Consequences. Here, many people have to face to consequences of the previous actions and the hatred or malice they have caused. What would you do to get revenge and is it really possible to get over past actions? DeRicci and Flint also reap the consequences of their actions in the previous books.

Consequences also breaks up the pattern of previous books where DeRicci and Flint worked together. To see them at odds is at the same time heartbreaking and exciting.

Setting is again carefully thought-out and just enough information is given about it. The high tech don’t get in the way of detective work which I find to be really impressive because it would be an easy way to fall into. Characters are excellent. They have their own motivations and plans which intersect each other believably. Also, the characters don’t have to know each other in order to have definite consequences in each others lives. I like that a lot because sometimes I just have a hard time believing that villain X who just happens to be the MC’s long-lost half step-brother has meticulously plotted out all of the hardships that the main character encounters….

Overall: a definite reread and I’m really looking forward to the next in the series.