Book Review: Extremes (Retrieval Artist #2) by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Extremes by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Publisher:  Roc

Summary:   A Retrieval Artist dies of a virus, yet his colleague, Miles Flint, believes the death is not an accident. Police detective Noelle DeRicci knows that the death of a young woman in the Moon's prestigious Extreme Marathon is not an accident. It soon becomes clear that both deaths are connected. Flint and DeRicci find themselves in their own race, one against time and a certain kind of madness that could threaten everything they know and love.

Second installment of The Retrieval Artist series follows ex-detective-cum-Retrieval-Artist, Miles Flint undertaking a possible case brought to him by Ignatius Wagner of the law firm of WSX (Wagner, Stuart & Xendor). It seems that Rabinowitz, a firm Retrieval Artist has died in what Ignatius considers sketchy circumstances. A cold virus. But not just any cold virus, this one is possibly the result of a Disappeared, scientist Frieda Tey (my brain kept wanting to call her Josephine because of the author of same last name.). To say she's mad would be an understatement. She's undoubtedly brilliant but is, as shown through the story, working on some next level batcrap crazy. She's the one on which our multi-threaded story centers. And it should because when we come in on the story, she's already got several hundred murders under her belt care of said virus she released into a population under a closed environment just to test that whole Survival of the Fittest thing & try to nudge human evolution to, her decided, appropriate next step.

It so happens that Tracker, Miriam Oliviari (trackers look for Disappeareds to turn them over to the authorities), is also on the hunt for Tey at the Moon Marathon. This is a race for extreme sport enthusiasts and pulls very high revenue for Armstrong Dome as a tourist draw. Oliviari is sure Tey is there under an assumed identity & is herself working undercover to capture her. And then there's Flint's former partner, Noelle DeRicci investigating a death at the marathon that leads to the search for Tey.

I really enjoyed this one and was really impressed that it takes place mostly in one day. Flint is still getting his bearings as a RA and I enjoyed the push off that former mentor Paloma gave him. It was for both their benefit. I'm even more curious about her now and look forward to what will be revealed about her past cases as the series progresses. Much of the story here is procedural and that's an aspect that I liked. To see the various paths of disparate investigations come together was satisfying and really made for good build up to a tight close. There were good questions posed about ethics in the pursuit of knowledge and also about how human perspectives can be quite broad depending on ones point of view (in this case, attitudes of what is right or wrong with human enclaves varied between those from Earth & those from the Moon, based on things like environment, scarcity of resources and emphasis of individual vs. communal goals/wants). Like the first book, it's an easy read but gives this reader other things to think about more deeply after I'm done.

Recommended and I will of course, be continuing with this series. I don't think these need be read in sequence, but I do intend on doing it that way.

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