The Devil’s Eye
I’m really enjoying these Jack McDevitt novels, regardless of the somewhat familiar formula of these stories. This is the fourth book I’ve read in the Alex Benedict stories.
Alex and his assistant (and sometimes lover) Chase, run Rainbow Enterprises, a company that specializes in buying and selling (and acquiring at archeological sites) special items of historic significance for sale and profit.
But Devil’s Eye diverges from this and has Alex trying to solve a mystery. A mystery that leads to the lives of a planet. That’s all I can say without ruining the plot!
Story and Plot:
Vickie Greene, horror novelist 9,000 years in our future, a contemporary of Alex and Chase, sends a cryptic message when Alex is returning from an adventure on the Belle Marie, a ship run by an AI (artificial intelligence). Vickie says “they’re all dead.” What’s it mean? Is Vickie on the verge of mental collapse? Or something more?
Our heroes discover Vickie had her personality replaced – contact with her brother reveals no information as to why, but that is pretty serious, as a mind wipe is usually reserved for criminals and malcontents.
Why would Vickie do this? Perhaps the answer lies on the planet Salud Afar, a planet that is at the far reaches of the galaxy, with no moon and not a lot of stars except for one particularly bright one that Vickie called “The Devil’s Eye.”
The story has humor, as when Chase goes topless at a swimming pool and the men applaud. Hilarious. And her usual string of boyfriends who lament that she’s gone so long piloting through the galaxy with her employer.
As in other novels, they have their lives threatened more than once and are urged to abandon their investigation but that makes them even more determined to find out who is trying to kill them and solve the mystery of Vickie Greene.
The story does not end at its natural conclusion but tries to wrap up all its points at once near the end – a method that makes the story seemed rushed.
However, the story runs well overall, not too many slow points as in earlier McDevitt novels, and it’s always a pleasure to imagine another Chase/Alex adventure.