The Ultra Thin Man by Patrick Swenson

Synopsis: In the twenty-second century, a future in which mortaline wire controls the weather on the settled planets and entire refugee camps drowse in drug-induced slumber, no one—alive or dead, human or alien—is quite what they seem. When terrorists manage to crash Coral, the moon, into its home planet of Ribon, forcing evacuation, it’s up to Dave Crowell and Alan Brindos, contract detectives for the Network Intelligence Organization, to solve a case of interplanetary consequences. Crowell’s and Brindos’s investigation plunges them neck-deep into a conspiracy much more dangerous than anything they could have imagined.

The two detectives soon find themselves separated, chasing opposite leads: Brindos has to hunt down the massive Helk alien Terl Plenko, shadow leader of the terrorist Movement of Worlds. Crowell, meanwhile, runs into something far more sinister—an elaborate frame job that puts our heroes on the hook for treason.

Crowell and Brindos are forced to fight through the intrigue to discover the depths of an interstellar conspiracy. And to answer the all-important question: Who, and what, is the Ultra Thin Man?

Review: When I received the book, I admit that I was not expecting much about it. I’m not a big fan of science fiction. It’s not a genre that appeals to me particularly, but I like to try something different from time to time and sometimes it can surprise me. I did not really know much about this book or the author but I must say that planets, aliens, and the whole thing are usually a bit difficult for me. But it is true that I was still curious by the survey regarding the two detectives. I love a good mystery and I could not wait to discover this one. And I must say that I finally had a good time.

Crowell and Brindos are two detectives working together but who will be separated to work better on different tracks. Yet their case that seemed pretty simple at first is far more complex and dangerous than they could have thought. Becoming wanted terrorists, they will try to figure out what exactly is going on. We follow alternately the two heroes in their stories. Brindos is looking for Plenko, a Helk responsible of a large number of events. Yet this story might make him lose everything he owned. Crowell goes rightful to the woman he loved to realize that something strange is happening in the nation and that the people around them are perhaps not what they seem to be.

We have a story mixing terrorism, planets, clones, aliens and a key that everyone seems to want. I admit that I was pretty taken away by the novel trying to figure out what was going on. I was surprised by some purpose for the characters but the whole thing was very well done. The author presents a rich world here but it’s true that I have sometimes wondered if the novel was not a Volume 2, I do not know if I missed some points but it’s true that I was surprised not to understand exactly how this world was governed. As I said, the author has created something very complex and I think I did not have enough explanations about it. It’s not very annoying in itself but it’s true that I wanted to understand a little more, a little more development on it.

In all cases it was a different and interesting novel and I will try something else from the author if I get the chance to.



19 thoughts on “The Ultra Thin Man by Patrick Swenson

  1. I’m the same, Melliane. Sci-fi is an unchartered territory for me, and it’s not something that I’d voluntarily seek out. The world tend to be clinical, sterile and the characters, dry. I’m glad you relatively enjoyed this one, though. 🙂

  2. I’m not all that much of a fan of Sci-Fi either, I always struggle through them, I love the 100 series though (mainly because the books have nothingto do with Sci-Fi, so there’s that), haha. At least you gave it a try, and it doesn’t sound too bad. 🙂

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