All the Time in the World

My taste in reading material is wide and varied: SF/fantasy/"speculative fiction", mysteries (police procedurals, mostly), history, fanfic, straight fiction, smutty vampire books, biographies, poetry, cereal boxes, assembly instructions, the fine print, and your mind.

The Devil's Eye

The Devil's Eye - Jack McDevitt Different from the other Alex Benedict/Chase Kolpath books I've read previously (I'm a bit perturbed that this series is still referred to as the Alex Benedict books, because only the first was written from his viewpoint, and frequently Benedict has been not much more than a somewhat eccentric sidekick to narrator Kolpath). Usually Benedict has picked up a hint of the whereabouts of some major historical artifact, or an untouched cache of objects from an ancient star-faring race, or some other irresistably fabulous potential score, and he and Kolpath go haring off after it, untangling various mysteries in the process.

In The Devil's Eye, the mystery is the main story - why a celebrated horror writer would pay Benedict a huge sum of money, with no explanation, and immediately thereafter have her entire memory and personality irretrievably wiped away. Benedict is uncharacteristically compelled to backtrack the writer's recent history, traveling to a planet on the far edge of the galaxy and seeking to uncover what led her to take such a drastic step. Along the way we get a more detailed look at the future society in which they live, where remote worlds develop social structures that bear only a cursory resemblance to those closer to "civilization", and underlying distrust of an alien race of disquietingly un-human appearance can erupt quickly into armed hostilities with the potential to destroy both sides.

With the initial mystery "solved" just past the halfway point of the book, I was a little confused about where McDevitt was taking us, and was intrigued when, rather than introduce a second mystery or reveal that the original solution was wrong, he simply chose to explore how Alex and Chase's actions play out and their impact on the planet.