Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Driving the Deep by Suzanne Palmer
Series: Finder Chronicles #2
Published by DAW Books on May 5, 2020
Genres: Science Fiction, Space Opera
Amazon, Audible, Barnes & Noble
As a professional finder, Fergus Ferguson is hired to locate missing objects and steal them back. But it is rarely so simple, especially after his latest job in Cernee. He’s been recovering from that experience in the company of friends, the Shipmakers of Pluto, experts at crafting top-of-the-line AI spaceships.
The Shipmakers have convinced Fergus to finally deal with unfinished business he's been avoiding for half his life: Earth. Fergus hasn’t been back to his homeworld since he was fifteen, when he stole his cousin’s motorcycle and ran away. It was his first theft, and nothing he's stolen since has been anywhere near so easy, or weighed so heavily on his conscience. Many years and many jobs later, Fergus reluctantly agrees that now is the time to return the motorcycle and face his family.
Unfortunately, someone has gotten to the motorcycle before him. And before he can figure out where it went and why the storage unit that held it is now filled with priceless, stolen art, the Shipyard is attacked. His friends are missing, presumably kidnapped.
Accompanied by an untrustworthy detective who suspects Fergus is the art thief and the sole friend who escaped the attack, Fergus must follow the tenuous clues to locate and save his friends. The trail leads them to Enceladus, where Fergus plans to go undercover to the research stations that lie beneath the moon’s thick ice sheet deep in a dark, oppressive ocean.
But all movement and personnel are watched, and the limited ways through the thick ice of the moon’s surface are dangerous and highly monitored. Even if Fergus can manage to find proof that his friends are there and alive, getting out again is going to be a lot more complicated than he bargained for.
I thought Finder was a standalone but lucky for everyone, it was just the first book in the Finder Chronicles series. I love this science fiction, space opera with the main character, Fergus is sort of a detective / Equalizer kind of guy. In Finder, Fergus “retrieves” a lost space ship and returns it to the rightful owner in the middle of a civil war. In Driving the Deep, he has to locate his scientist friends who have been abducted and he deals with some family issues.
I really enjoyed so many things. There is technology and gadgets and even AI. The bad guys, as usual, are about power and control. Unfortunately, they are ruthless and have no trouble with murder. Fergus is the best kind of character, a MacGyver kind of guy with a real compassion.
There is a new character, Zacker, who I’d like to see again. Fergus meets him when he is trying to resolve some personal issues and ends up taking him off Earth to Pluto. Zacker is a retired police detective who has never been off Earth. He turns out to be a handy guy to have on a mission.
This series has a delicious sense of humor which lightens up the action and any violence. There is much danger and suspense in this adventure and Fergus is so alone. Well, he does manage to adopt an abandoned cat. I love these stories and am happy there will be more!
“In the time we have associated, it has been clear to me that your problem-solving methodology works best when you take the most difficult and inobvious path in front of you,” Venetia’s Sword said. ” I cannot speak to why this should work, but it does seem to be your ‘thing’.”
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