Killer in the Retroscape

2019 B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree

2019 Eric Hoffer Award, Third Place - eBook Fiction

2019 Montaigne Medal Finalist for the year's most thought-provoking books

In 2068 St. Louis, Missouri, Dr. Douglas (Doug) Michaels finds his lifelong friend, Josh Unger, dead in his home. When law enforcement concludes his death was a suicide, Doug and his wife, Ali, are dumbstruck; they wonder what could explain such a needlessly violent and lonely death in a future where such actions are unimaginable. Trying to unearth a killer, be it either flesh and blood or the cumulative stress of life, Doug creates a mental landscape of Josh's past, a retroscape, starting in the mid-2030s.

Among its landmarks are:
  • An illness, sensationalized in the media as the "zombie pandemic" that drives a wedge between husband and wife, parents and children.
  • Cryptic communications between Josh and an "after-life specialist" who peddles immortality services.
  • A mysterious phrase uttered at the assassination of a government official that ties it to Josh's death 14 years later.
  • Josh's machine-intelligence wife, Julia, who may hold the secret to his death ... if she can only remember.
In the end, determining guilt in a retroscape littered with suspects tells Doug more about humanity, technology, and himself than he ever would have imagined.

Editorial Reviews

"The characters are entertaining and fully fleshed out. The hero, Dr. Michaels, is a smart septuagenarian, and even the robots have distinct personalities.  The story is a highly original page-turner that readers won’t put down until they reach the unexpected ending. The parallels to the contemporary world are realistic, frightening and thought-provoking."  - The Booklife Prize

"A compelling mystery set in a superbly-constructed future world.  ... Killer in the Retroscape looks at machine intelligence, engineering, medicine and, amongst other things, psychology all in a world set in 2068. Pretty impressive! But, has the author managed to do all this and still offer the reader a thrilling plot and interesting characters to follow?  Well, I'm delighted to say...YES! In fact, I was thoroughly absorbed in the novel."  - A 'Wishing Shelf' Book Review

"... by far the most convincing portrayal of the future this reader has encountered." - indieBRAG Team Reader

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