The colony ship Ragtime docks in the Lagos system, having traveled light-years to bring one thousand sleeping souls to a new home among the stars. But when first mate Michelle Campion rouses, she discovers some of the sleepers will never wake. Answering Campion's distress call, investigator Rasheed Fin is tasked with finding out who is responsible for these deaths. Soon a sinister mystery unfolds aboard the gigantic vessel, one that will have repercussions for the entire system.
Shadowy politics, corporate secrets, and interstellar migration collide in a fast-paced enclosed murder mystery, filled with delightful details about medicine, murder, and the psychological effects of space. Multiple points of view keep the action current ... A clever, haunting read.
Inventive ... Thompson builds intrigue through clever story structure and shifting perspectives ... Though the resolution is rushed, with some details of the mystery arising too late to be truly satisfying, Thompson’s appealing take on long-distance space travel, subversion of typical AI tropes, tender characterization, and cleverly constructed suspense makes this worthwhile fare. Readers looking for a smart sci-fi mystery should snap this up.
Although the story bears some elements of a locked-room mystery, Agatha Christie fans will be disappointed: The author doesn’t provide readers with sufficient clues to solve the crime, instead preferring to provide the majority of the revelations midway through the book. As such, the novel is less of a puzzle and more of a genuinely exciting race against time with some mystery elements, a thriller/horror-aboard-a-spaceship ... Thompson also has some sharp and relevant things to say about technocrats with less than savory sources for their wealth who engage in messy personal relationships, enjoy showy toys, and try to buy themselves out of trouble. Considerably less drenched in the hallucinatory than Thompson's Wormwood trilogy, the story does veer unexpectedly toward the supernatural at the end, giving it an open-ended feel. Other aspects of the plot could use more fleshing out. Given Thompson’s penchant for series, might subsequent books be expected? ... Gripping and bloody as a beating heart but with a strong need for follow up.