December 30, 1996

Terence M. Green

Tor Books, NY, $US22.95, $Cdn32.95, 253 pages
(ISBN 0 312 86282 2)


Although Greenís last novel, Shadow of Ashland, was a poignant parable with a light fantasy gloss, his latest is anything but. Instead, itís a high-tech action cop thriller, albeit one sensitively drawn. In early-21st century Toronto, police officer Mitch Helwig survives Ė in rapid succession Ė the murder of his partner, an attempt on his own life, another attempt on the life of his boss, Captain Karoulis, and suspension from the force. To deal with the parties responsible, Helwig turns rogue cop, setting off a sequence of explosively paced confrontations. Thereís not much that makes this novel SF except for the futuristic hardware and Blue Limbo itself, a technique for partially reviving the dead that is used on Karoulis to provide Helwig with vital evidence. Both Helwig and Karoulis suffer some standard cop problems, but Green handles all his characters with great compassion. Then there is Mitchís octogenarian father, Paul, a man of wit, courage and resources unsuspected by even his son, let alone the villains. Greenís newest may be short on originality, but itís definitely long on readability.