Saturday, September 5, 2009

All the Wrong Moves-Merline Lovelace

All the Wrong Moves
Merline Lovelace
Berkley, Nov 2009, $6.99
ISBN: 9780425231180

USAF Lieutenant Samantha Spade is detached to DARPA as the head of FST-Three testing innovative inventions to see if any military applications apply. She and her unit are stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas where they are testing EEEEK (Ergonomic Exoskeletal Extension); a gizmo that is supposed to make the wearer, stronger, faster and enhance the senses.

While outside the town of Dry Springs, Sam steps on two bodies melted into the desert. One of the deceased turns out to be mercenary arms seller James Hucker, who was involved in an incident in Columbia in which three marines died. EEEEK downloads crime site data locating a fingerprint that identifies the killer as the father of one of the dead marines. An anonymous cell phone call led to Hucker’s homicide and the team using one of the gadgets locates the throw away cell. In the meantime someone blows up Sam’s lab. The outraged Sam after filling out a quadrillion forms Techno Diva Sam teams up with Border Patrol Agent Jeff Mitchell; they hunt for the deadly dealer.

Although at times the heroine feel isolated from the air force as she works in the beyond even with Fort Bliss being an army growth activity, she and her eccentric crew feel they are doing important work; as “Inspector Gadget” seeking inventions that will make the military safer and more effective. She also knows the alternative to the blissful heat of the Tex-Mex border is HQ FST-One above the Arctic Circle. Merline Lovelace once again affirms her position as a five star author with this strong look at military testing inside a wonderfully drawn investigative thriller.

Harriet Klausner