Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Foul Deeds will Rise

Foul Deeds Will Rise
© 2014 Greg Cox
384 pages

            A galaxy can be a small world. When James T. Kirk attended a performance of The Tempest put on by volunteers nursing refugees in the middle of a war zone, he didn’t expect to encounter a woman  who tried to kill him. Admittedly, he has that effect on women, but  the last time he laid eyes on Lenore Karidian, she was being hauled off to an insane asylum after the killing blast she meant for Kirk dispatched her father instead.  It’s been over twenty years since, but there she is on the stage, immersed in Shakespeare once more.    But is it her only repeat performance?  Kirk has come to help mediate peace between two planets locked in a bitter war, and whatever fragile hope for bloodshed’s end is lost when the leading counselors for both sides find themselves murdered on Kirk’s own ship.  The murders are utter copies of Lenore’s past crimes, when in her youth she sought to kill anyone who could identify her disguised father as a war criminal.  Although Ambassador Kevin Riley – Kirk’s colleague and former crewman, previously poisoned by Lenore and saved only by Dr. McCoy’s swift action – is quick to believe the femme fatale is up to her old tricks, Kirk suspects there is more to the  story.  The stakes grow after both sides in the war somehow learn that Karidian had a criminal past, and explode into fury against the Federation they blame for harboring a known criminal. Even as two of his officers are arrested by an alien military,  a raging mob takes innocent aid workers hostage. Even worse,  Spock and Scotty – said arrestees – were on the brink of discovering a conspiracy that threatened not only the peace, but the lives of millions.  Foul Deeds will Rise is a classic Trek tale,  an action-mystery reminiscent of the shows themselves, complete with abundant references to Shakespeare.  Plotwise, Cox’s writing is perfectly entertaining, with action unfolding in three different locations at one point, all building together to the same finale, with the occasional fun bit of dialogue thrown in.  It does seem odd that a murder investigation on a starship would involve virtually no reference to security tapes being checked, but how nice it is to see a mystery solved by sleuthing instead of computers!

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