The Fuse #19
The next major storyline of The Fuse begins here, with a promise to reveal why Ralph Dietrich came to the Homicide division of the police force on the space station. It’s something to do with a political group, the Fuse Liberation Front, but all we’ve had so far are hints and suspicions. Since the FLF is considered a terrorist group, that’s a significant problem for his role.
Meanwhile, his partner Klem, the best character in the book — she’s a cranky old-timer who doesn’t suffer stupidity from anyone — is finally contemplating retiring and leaving the Fuse. After her party, she drags some friends along to play a drunk night game of “ziggyball”, only to find a body on the field.
Antony Johnston and Justin Greenwood do an excellent job translating a cop drama into outer space. Many of the conventions of the genre, such as hanging out at the bar or taking a suspect to an interrogation room, are the same, but then there’s a scene floating in space to remind us that we’re not in the usual urban setting.
Johnston does a particularly good job paying attention to class distinctions in this new environment, where the hierarchy is literal, based on stack location in the space. Even though we’re leading up to a major character revelation, there’s still “ground level” police work to be done in solving other murders. (The publisher provided a digital review copy.)