Friday, August 15, 2014

Calculated Risk by K.S. Ferguson: Book Review with Excerpt


Virtual Book Tour Dates: 7/18/14 - 8/15/14

Genres: Mystery, Thriller, Sci-Fi


Rafe McTavish, charming self-made businessman, owns the most successful private security firm in the galaxy. Estranged from his family since his wife’s bloody suicide fourteen years earlier, he’s honor bound to find out why his brother-in-law, CEO of the family mega-corporation, has jeopardized the company by purchasing a dilapidated deep-space mining station. Arriving at the station to investigate, Rafe takes on hostile miners, faces accusations of murder, chases a blackmailer bent on his destruction, and matches wits with a beautiful corporate-hating computer hacker, Kama Bhatia, who just may be the love of his life—if they both survive.
“I apologize for disturbing you outside our normal communication channels,” Kama said, acknowledging their unsecured line. “I wanted to let you know that I’d arrived safely. I would have contacted you sooner, but the station experienced communication issues.”
One almond-shaped eye twitched. “Issues?”
“Yes, but it didn’t prevent me from sending your… birthday present. It’s on a cargo drone headed for Earth orbit. It left here shortly after I arrived. I wasn’t able to check your present’s condition.” She held her breath.
Samir went very still. She expected frost to form on the view screen so cold was the displeasure in his gaze. He hated complications, and she’d barely started listing them.
“Inconvenient. I’ll see the package is retrieved.” He smoothed the front of his immaculate gray suit with long, thin fingers.
She plunged on. “Unfortunately, your present isn’t complete. Pieces are missing, and other collectors have taken an interest.”
His hand stopped in mid-stroke. “Other collectors?”
Kama swallowed. Sweat moistened her palms where they rested on the console. He really wouldn’t like the next news. “There’s also a problem with the grant work I’m to do here for Independent Mining. Seems EcoMech claims to have bought the place, and Leon Goldman came in person to take possession. He has Rafael McTavish in tow.”
The intensity of Samir’s stare rocked her back from the console.
“Is Mr. McTavish aware of your presence?” he asked in a deadly calm voice.
“We’ve been introduced.”
“It’s a large station. Enjoy those parts where Mr. McTavish is not found,” he ordered, his brows pulling down.
“Well, that’s the thing,” she said, her voice rising in pitch. “There’s a bit of a shooting war going on here, and he’s been taken prisoner by the miners.”

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This exciting, action-intense book kept me reading late into the night.  Full of intrigue, backstabbing villains (and friends), and clever dialogue, I became so caught up in the story that I just could not stop reading.  Kama, is one of the most unusual characters I have met in a long while; an eclectic mix of stubborn mule headedness coupled with almost unlimited compassion. Her complex personality and secretive nature keeps the hero Rafe flummoxed and off center.  It is great fun watching their relationship evolve over the course of the book. Rafe struggles with his feelings toward Kama – feelings that throw him out of his comfort zone, more often than not.

The best aspect of the story for me besides the quirky characters was the deep space setting.  I continually felt the vastness of the space around the ships and the mining colony.  I loved the mystery and the twists that abounded within this book.  The plot is complex and the motivations of the various factions believable.

This book was given to me in exchange for my honest review.

Reviewed by Laurie-J

About The Author:
K S Ferguson has already published one critically-acclaimed novella, Puncher’s Chance (co-written with James Grayson,) which appeared in the June 2006 edition of Analog Science Fiction and Fact, America’s longest-running science fiction magazine. She enjoys writing suspense and murder mysteries in futuristic and fantasy settings, and also writes fiction in the guise of technical manuals for unfinished software—otherwise known as help documentation.

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