A new Retrieval Artist book! The tenth book in the series.

Publication year: 2015
Format: Audio
Running time: 10 hours, 35 minutes
Narrator: Jay Snyder

“A Murder of Clones” continues the Anniversary day saga which began with the “Anniversary Day”, eight book in the series. The domed cities on the Moon were bombed and the investigators never found out who did it. Now, we get one step closer to unraveling the mystery. This book introduces a new set of characters and the older characters in the series don’t appear. However, I recommend starting the “Anniversary Day” or perhaps even with “The Disappeared” to get the whole story.

The first part of the book was published as a novella in “Fiction River: Moonscapes”. In fact, I think that would a great place to sample this story and Rusch’s style.

Judita Gomez is a Frontier Marshall for the Earth Alliance. When an alien species, which isn’t yet part of the Alliance, are having trouble with a bunch of humans, they turn to Gomez. A group of humans have built a domed city on the moon of the aliens’ planet but the species have left each other pretty much alone until now. A group of young boys have come out of the dome and another group of boys have killed the first group. Also, the aliens have one live boy in custody who is asking for protection for an asylum. If that’s not complex enough situation, Gomez finds out that the boys all look that same: they’re clones and so by Alliance law they aren’t humans but property.

After the novella, the book continues both with Gomez and introduces a new set of characters.

This is another great book in the series. It has pretty much everything I’ve come to love in a Rusch book. All of the characters have their own motivations; sometimes they do bad things because of good motivations and sometimes they do good things because of bad motivations. The central new character is a lawyer who is disgusted with the way that clones are treated in the Alliance. “Illegals”, ones created not the Alliance way, are incarcerated for life because of the simple fact that they’re born (or created) with the wrong gene set. While in this case, the gene set belongs to a specific individual instead of a, say, race, it still mirrors some things in our own world.

This book explores the larger universe in this series and I was thrilled to see that. While I like Miles Flint, the protagonist for most of the other books in this series, the poor guy has suffered quite a lot already. I also really liked Gomez and her effective team of Marshalls. I can hardly wait for the next book which is apparently coming out next month!

This is clearly part of a series. While it doesn’t end in a cliffhanger, there’s no resolution at the end.