Sunday, April 17, 2016

The Cold Between by Elizabeth Bonesteel

Description: When her crewmate, Danny, is murdered on the colony of Volhynia, Central Corps chief engineer, Commander Elena Shaw, is shocked to learn the main suspect is her lover, Treiko Zajec. She knows Trey is innocent—he was with her when Danny was killed. So who is the real killer and why are the cops framing an innocent man?
Retracing Danny’s last hours, they discover that his death may be tied to a mystery from the past: the explosion of a Central Corps starship at a wormhole near Volhynia. For twenty-five years, the Central Gov has been lying about the tragedy, even willing to go to war with the outlaw PSI to protect their secrets.
With the authorities closing in, Elena and Trey head to the wormhole, certain they’ll find answers on the other side. But the truth that awaits them is far more terrifying than they ever imagined . . . a conspiracy deep within Central Gov that threatens all of human civilization throughout the inhabited reaches of the galaxy—and beyond.

The Cold Between by Elizabeth Bonesteel is the beginning of an interesting new SF series. Part military sci-fi, part space opera, part mystery and a little bit of romance. It’s an interesting and very entertaining book that has a nicely contained story that doesn’t leave you hanging, but still makes you want to continue the series to learn more about the characters and this universe.

Elena Shaw is a strong lead character who is driven, competent and no nonsense. Elena hooks up with Treiko Zajec, a retired space captain and erstwhile chef, for a presumed one-night stand. When Elena’s former lover winds up murdered, things quickly get a lot more complicated. Strong secondary characters, particularly Elena’s friend Jessica and captain Greg, add to a story that’s fueled by mystery and conflict involving both planetary and galactic governments. The mystery dates back to a 25 year old tragedy involving Greg’s mom and may just be the tip of something even more sinister.

Bonesteel does a good job of juggling different plot elements, but it is the strong characters that drive the story here. There’s a lot to like here and I’m looking forward to where she takes the story next in this new Central Corps series. Bonesteel is clearly a talented writer and The Cold Between stands out as something a little different than your typical military sci fi. Recommended read.

I was fortunate to receive an advance copy of this book.