The Peyti Crisis
by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Cover Artist: Rolffimages / Dreamstime, Solarseven / Dreamstme,
Bertos / Dreamstime
Review by Sam Lubell
WMG Publishing ISBN/ITEM#: 9781561466160
Date: 01 March 2015
The fifth book in Kristine Kathryn Rusch's Anniversary Day Saga, The Peyti Crisis, does feature Miles Flint, the titular Retrieval Artist, who had been missing from books three and four. This book is almost a future version of Law & Order as lawyers and legal matters dominate. Although there are still segments from different characters point of view, progress is made on the investigation of the attempted Peyti bombings averted in Blowback.
The Peyti Crisis begins with a section, set 55 years ago, showing how a pair of prison workers secretly collected some of the DNA of mass murderer PierLuigi Fremont, presumably the source of the clones who conducted the Anniversary Day bombings. In the present, crime boss Luc Deshin continues his investigation into the clones and tries to convince his wife to leave the moon with his son. He meets with Flint to discuss their investigation.
Ava Huynh, of the Earth Alliance Security Office gets permission to launch the joint alien-human investigation (now that alien clones were involved).
Rafael Salehi, one of the main partners of the law firm where Torkild Zhu works, is persuaded to defend the Peyti clones as an opportunity to set a precedent that clones are not property. Torkild, certain that he was about to be fired due to events in A Murder of Clones, is instead reluctantly put in charge of defending the Peyti clones until other lawyers can arrive.
Meanwhile Miles Flint is somewhat distracted by his daughter Talia who is still suffering psychologically from seeing a friend killed as part of preventing the Peyti attack and nearly being killed herself. Detective Nyquist struggles to find a way to continue his investigation even after Torkild obtains an injunction preventing questioning the Peyti until the rest of his lawyers arrive.
The Peyti Crisis is notable for the characterization of the lawyers. Although they interfere with the investigation, they are not portrayed as corrupt or greedy. Rafael Salehi is an idealist, trying to make lives better for clones everywhere and Zhu has to be blackmailed into helping the Peyti. By contrast, Deshin, although a criminal himself, is determined to unravel the conspiracy because the moon is his home and he wants it safe.
Rusch, in an author's note, wrote that she writes out of order and assembles her books like a quilt. While the patchwork seams showed in A Murder of Clones and Search & Recovery, this book is much less fragmented. Unfortunately it is still not as tight as earlier books and it has unnecessary segments (such as 35 pages on the source of the clones' DNA). Even though the author tells readers they should read A Murder of Clones and Search & Recovery before reading The Peyti Crisis, she actually wrote this book after Blowback (book 2 in the Anniversary Day Saga) and it is much more a sequel to that book than to the other two. Most readers of the Saga can safely skip A Murder of Clones and Search & Recovery and read The Peyti Crisis right after Blowback.