by Gin Hollan
Gadgeteer Arabeth Barnes must follow her instincts – and an invading automaton – in order to stop the violence that is tearing her city apart. The fine folks of Blastborn have just had their first murder in over 200 years and some say it’s a precursor to war. Arabeth thinks it’s bigger.
A simple problem should have a simple solution. Working as a bail enforcement Tracker in order to have someone test her gadgets crosses no ethical lines, as far as Arabeth is concerned.
Besides, she can’t be the only one who sees the threat at hand. An automaton has invaded their peaceful little city, and an invisible force has turned its citizens against each other causing deadly acts of violence.
When her cousin is murdered, Arabeth becomes determined to track down the hand behind this unprecedented violence. Calling in family favours and using her status to persuade gatekeepers isn’t something she is comfortable with, but no one else sees what she sees. Plans for catching an unseen assailant are hard to explain and harder for others to accept.
If she doesn’t, no one is safe, but if she does, she may have to marry the next man her highborn parents throw at her. Society would rather see her fail. Still in her mid-twenties, the only way to keep her independence is to fight for it, and the only way to do that is to prove she’s just fine on her own, thank you very much. If they push it, she’ll marry Sam.
Her best friend since childhood, Samuel Hicks, is a Police Detective who has learned to trust her hunches. Refusing to let her walk into this danger alone, he insists they team up. Trust isn’t easy for either of them, despite their history, or perhaps because of it.
Together they’ll attempt to solve a mystery that’s turning the people of her city into cold-blooded killers. What they discover is much worse.
This is book one in the Arabeth Barnes series.
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