Rats in a Maze
by Peter Bailey
Moonshine Cove Publishing

"The police were a thin blue line protecting the citizens while the detectives solved puzzles in blood that nobody really cared about."

Twenty years with the NYPD have left Detective Ray Fisher jaded and cynical. Only the guilt he feels about his pregnant wife's recent death in a car accident provides him any interest in life. But mysterious Jessica Sorenson reawakens his baser passions with a single touch and his sense of intrigue with her British flair. Exactly who is Jessica, anyway? She's married to multibillionaire Theo Sorenson, but is it as a ravishing twenty-something or as a washed-up, childless 62-year-old? Jessica seems able to control others' first impressions of everything. So, was she a mere witness to a simple case of a car plunging into the Hudson River, or did she orchestrate a waterlogged murder through mind control? Her secrets lead Ray on a cross-country flight from his past, during which he must confront the continuing horrific results of human experimentation the Nazis began in World War II.

Part thriller, part science fiction novel, this book mocks the faceless, homogenous nature of urban modernity through minute descriptions of postmodern settings everywhere from coffee shops to concierge desks. Clipped, efficient language is plentiful. All but the three main characters are purposely, cleverly painted with broad strokes from the same metaphorical brush, symbolizing the twenty-first-century demise of individuality as it makes way for progress. Readers can almost hear the ultramodern clicks and beeps of a rapidly computerizing New York City. Aging Ray is a sympathetic lost soul whom technology's tide sweeps along, even as enigmatic Jessica sweeps away his heart. His strength of mind and eventual refusal to be controlled by the elite constitute the forces that propel the plot forward. Conspiracy theories and wanton displays of police corruption abound and are among the attributes sure to appeal to thriller and science fiction audiences.

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