Book Review of Polaris (Alex Benedict, Bk 2)

Polaris (Alex Benedict, Bk 2)
reviewed on + 61 more book reviews


Very satisfying, readable SF mystery. The great strength of the two Alex Benedict novels I have read so far is the interesting background that McDevitt has created for his amateur sleuths Benedict and his "Watson," Chase Kolpath. The thousands of years of history of McDevitt's "Confederacy" of far-flung planets settled by humanity in the distant future is fed to us in dribs and drabs -- hints of war and suffering, triumphs and discoveries, even pop culture references to poets, playwrights and sport obsessions -- and it makes it feel like there is a very rich, detailed and real background to their world. It's a post-scarcity society: the challenge that this sets McDevitt is motivation: when no one needs to work, and the sky is, quite literally, the limit, what would provoke someone to murder? In this, and the previous novel in the series, "A Talent for War," McDevitt rises to the challenge, coming to grips with factors beyond greed that expose the flaws in this would-be paradise.

It isn't a deep read! I felt that there was some padding (in the course of their investigation, Benedict and Kolpath put themselves in a position where they are almost killed =three times=. It stretches the patience just a little to think that either they would be so stupid, or the police would allow them to continue to be so careless.

However, I'm looking forward to the next one in the series -- when I want "good read"!