The Fuse #13
Time for a new mystery in the dynamite science fiction series by Antony Johnston and Justin Greenwood! Or maybe more than one. The latest arc begins here, with Perihelion, which is the day the space station is closest to the sun. It’s also an excuse for a Mardi Gras-like party that takes over the whole place.
You don’t need to get up to speed with previous issues, since there’s a helpful introductory piece kicking off this issue, but I do recommend both of the stories so far in the series: The Russia Shift is the first, introducing detective Ralph Dietrich, transferred in from Germany, and involving a politically-inspired series of murders of homeless people. Gridlock is more action-packed, with illegal solar bike racers and drug smuggling.
Perihelion gives more insight into the details of this oddly-functioning society, as well as the specifics of police work inside a giant tin can. It gives Johnston more chances to drop well-chosen bits of dialogue, building our understanding of the cultural differences (and how some things never change) efficiently, as with the opening law enforcement briefing. As we jump from moment to moment on the day, Greenwood shows off his effective scene-setting. His backgrounds provide a strong sense of place. With all the back-and-forth across different social classes, Greenwood’s doing a lot of work here, and it’s appreciated.
A holiday doesn’t mean a break from police work. A woman is found dead in her apartment, and she may be the latest victim of an escalating serial killer. Other scenes provide hints of storylines yet to develop, including an older escaped prisoner and a man making plans he’s hiding from his wife. The next issue will be out September 9. (The publisher provided a digital review copy.)