Reviews Logo
SearchHomeContents PageSite Map
Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Roc Books, 384 pages

Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Kristine Kathryn Rusch was born in June 1960. She is married to author Dean Wesley Smith and they live in Oregon. Her books include Star Wars: The New Rebellion, The White Mists of Power (1991), Traitors (1994), Sins of the Blood (1995), Rings of Tautee (with Dean Wesley Smith), The Devil's Churn (1996), Alien Influences (1997) and the Fey Series (The Sacrifice (1996), The Changling (1996), The Rival (1997), The Resistance (1998) and Victory (1998)).

Kristine Kathryn Rusch Website
ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: The Disappeared
SF Site Review: The Disappeared
SF Site Review: Stories for an Enchanted Afternoon
SF Site Review: Alien Influences

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Donna McMahon

In this sequel to The Disappeared, Kristine Kathryn Rusch's moon-based detectives are back. Prickly, bull-headed detective Noelle DeRicci is in the doghouse with her police superiors again, so she gets the latest assignment that nobody wants -- a fatal accident at the moon marathon.

Although most Armstrong dome residents think that only crazies would want to run twenty-six miles across the treacherous lunar landscape in an environment suit, the annual marathon represents a tourist bonanza for the lunar colony. So when DeRicci is sent to investigate, she is supposed to clear up the accident as quickly and quietly as possible. Instead, she discovers a murder that must have been committed by a marathon organizer, and can only be properly investigated if she holds everyone associated with the marathon for questioning.

Meanwhile, DeRicci's former partner, Miles Flint, meets the first client for his new business as a Retrieval Artist (a specialized private detective). The client wants to track down Frieda Tey, a renegade scientist who disappeared ten years ago after releasing a deadly virus which killed hundreds of people. Flint doesn't know whether Tey was a remorseless murderer or a victim of circumstance, and he doesn't trust the client who wants to locate her, so he's got a very bad feeling about taking the case. But he may have no choice. If the Tey Virus is released in Armstrong dome, millions could die.

This is a brief outline of a very tightly plotted, suspenseful novel that kept me eagerly turning pages right to the end. Rusch's previous DeRicci book, The Disappeared, was competent, and this sequel is even better. Rusch's cast is all good, with a stand-out villain -- think of an intelligent and chillingly persuasive cross between a mad scientist and Ayn Rand. It's a particularly impressive portrayal, given that the villain doesn't step on stage until almost the last chapter, so her portrait is entirely drawn second hand through other characters.

Rusch also clearly knows a lot about the marathon subculture and the psychology of extreme runners. That, plus just the right amount of technical and forensic detail give her moon setting an air of sweaty verisimilitude.

I'd recommend this book to just about anybody. Extremes is an entertaining read, with a thought-provoking undercurrent about the perils of social Darwinism.

Copyright © 2003 Donna McMahon

Donna McMahon discovered science fiction in high school and fandom in 1977, and never recovered. Dance of Knives, her first novel, was published by Tor in May, 2001, and her book reviews won an Aurora Award the same month. She likes to review books first as a reader (Was this a Good Read? Did I get my money's worth?) and second as a writer (What makes this book succeed/fail as a genre novel?). You can visit her website at

SearchContents PageSite MapContact UsCopyright

If you find any errors, typos or anything else worth mentioning, please send it to
Copyright © 1996-2014 SF Site All Rights Reserved Worldwide