Another cool Alex Benedict novel by Jack McDevitt.
Plots and Points:
In this one, McDevitt breaks away from formula for a bit. He has Chase meet a client who has an artifact (yeah, that part of the formula is the same!). She is the sister-in-law of Christopher Robin (no relation to Winnie the Pooh) who is a physicist who mysteriously disappeared years ago. She wants to sell his stuff.
Chase never heard of the guy and wants to blow her off. Alex though has other ideas.
Interesting how the tale leads to other digressions that I thought we did not need for the book to move along:
– an abandoned planet with old technology including old Artificial Intelligences with an orbiting talking satellite that warns people off. Alex and Chase of course have to go down to the planet to investigate it. It’s possible Chris Robin visited!
– a visit to Chris Robin’s wife and Chase walking around his home town, playing tourist and interviewing people at random. Do we know if there was a conspiracy? Did Chris’ wife fool around with the taxi driver who apparently died in an earthquake? (yeah, goes convoluted sometimes).
– a rescue, a plea to recognize AI’s as sentient beings has some merit, but really filled too many pages before we discover what Firebird is, and the aspect of transwarp dimensions.
– disappearing spaceships that reappear for no apparent reason. Was Chris Robin investigating these? What is the connection?