The Void Synopsis :
It would be easier to kill him than to trust him.
Transporting a serial killer might seem like a simple job for CCF Homicide Investigator Kyle Tanner. After spending years apprehending murderers, he’s ready to hang up his pistol. Babysitting a prisoner will bring him to Alpha Centauri, where he can search for a way to escape the CCF forever.
If he makes it.
When his ship breaks down in deep space and a CCF research vessel comes to his aid, Tanner realizes he’s in terrible danger: the scientists on board have blocked his distress call. And when Tanner’s prisoner escapes, he begins to suspect that the proximity of the research vessel had nothing to do with luck and everything to do with the CCF’s relentless reach.
Facing near-certain death by his own organization, Tanner must unravel a tangled skein of vengeance, duplicity and murder in deep space. But he’s being held at the will of master puppeteers, and if he can’t cut the strings, he’ll dance straight to a gruesome, excruciating death…. (Carina Press)
Having been hooked by both his leading man Kyle Tanner and dystopian setting in Timothy S Johnston’s The Furnace and then being swept away by the heart pounding action in its follow-up The Freezer, I was eagerly awaiting the final installment in The Tanner Sequence The Void. I was not disappointed.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I am far from a sci-fi buff (in fact a sci-fi movie is the last thing I’d choose to watch on television) but I think the reason I connected with this series is this – Johnston’s dystopia is enough of a stretch from current day to be intriguing while retaining sufficient plausibility for me to find it compelling.
As foreshadowed in the conclusion of The Freezer, in addition to another well crafted and highly entertaining locked-room mystery (a story framework Agatha Christie fans will be very familiar with) the driving force of The Void is the evolution of Tanner’s philosophical struggle with the brutal rule of the Confederate Combined Forces (CCF).
Columbus had brought new diseases and extremes of hatred and brutality to the New World beyond what had previously been there.
And the Terran Confederacy and the Council had brought them to space.
One of the great pleasures of reading this series from the very beginning has been witnessing not just the characters growth but the maturation of Johnston’s writing style. In The Void I felt the prose exuded a clarity of purpose that perfectly aligned with the emotional development of his protagonist. That sense of conviction/confidence translates to the audience.
While I did say this is the final title in The Tanner Sequence (side note, bravo to Johnston for ending Tanner’s leading role on a high) the conclusion of The Void foreshadows more tales from the Terran Confederacy and hints at a few characters with the potential to star in such a spin-off.
I look forward to seeing what Johnston produces next.
BOOK RATING: The Story 4 / 5 ; The Writing 3 / 5
Genre: Sci-fi, Action-Adventure, Crime-Detective, Mystery, Thriller, Romance
This review counts towards my participation in The Eclectic Reader Challenge 2015.
Timothy S. Johnston is a lifelong fan of techno-thrillers and science-fiction thrillers in both print and film. His greatest desire is to contribute to the genre which has given him so much over the past four decades. He wishes he could personally thank every novelist, screenwriter, filmmaker, director and actor who has ever inspired him to tell great stories. He has been an educator for nearly twenty years and a writer for twenty-five. He lives on planet Earth, but he dreams of the stars.
* My receiving a copy of this book from the author for review purposes did not impact the expression of my honest opinions in the review above.