by Selina Rosen
Review by Carolyn Frank
Meisha Merlin Publishing, Inc. Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 1592220460
Date: 25 July, 2006 List Price $25.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
Set in an unnamed small city somewhere in the Oklahoma/Texas area, this world is basically our own. The major difference is that police communications units, called comlinks, are hardwired inserts into the bodies of police and members of the court. Comlinks enable headquarters to communicate with their people at any time, however, with a certain amount of difficulty and blood, they can be removed.
Robert Strange, or Strange Robby as he is typically referred to, also lives in this city. With limited assistance from his grandmother, he is raising 6 younger siblings, all with different fathers and all equally ignored by their drug abusing black mother who lives in California. Working a variety of menial jobs to put food on the table, he is striving to bring up well-behaved, educated and decent children who can enjoy the childhood he never had.
The FBI is on the case doing not very much either, but then another much weirder federal agency shows up, the Strange Weapons Task Force – the SWTF. And somehow they appear almost more interested in Spider than the Fry Guy.
Spider is worthy of everyone's interest, she is tall, physically strong, trained by Tommy in his expertise in jujitsu, and with a set of mental powers. Clearly an empath, even she is unsure of what else she can be. She finds love with a young assistant district attorney, but their idyllic interlude is thrown out of whack by the SWTF's persistent belief that she knows more than she is telling about the Fry Guy.
Well written, fast paced, filled with a variety of shoot outs and other mayhem, this book keeps the reader's interest throughout. Despite the abundance of dead bodies and blood, the story is not gory or morbid; it fits deftly into the science fiction action adventure mode.