'A macabre murder case and a planet on the edge of disaster . . .
'Inspector Eddon Brac, from Hegemony Central Police, and Vail ev Vessintor, his parapsych assistant, arrive on Independent Planet P-19 to investigate a series of horrifically violent killings.
'They discover a society sliding into chaos – terrifying nightmares, increasing darkness, storms of psychic energy . . .
'As the murders multiply, the ultimate cause begins to appear as something far more sinister than just a single serial killer.
'Eddon has the detective skills to deal with the practical evidence, Vail has the psychic talents to understand the seemingly supernatural. But tensions are driving them apart. Together they may be able to solve the horror on Independent Planet P-19 – if first they can solve their own feelings for each other.'
Source: Publisher's blurb.
'Eddon, Vail and Beano are on their way back to the Centre from planet P-19. The spacecraft that has come to collect them is piloted by Crissom Powl, a strangely rational, emotionless character, obsessed with logi-games. A gang of 'marauders' who call themselves the Curs of Space board and hijack the craft, flying it to their home base on Abson's Asteroid.
'The inhabitable part of the asteroid is an artificially sealed and pressurised valley, called the Kennel. The Curs, all male, live a brutal kind of existence, governed by aggression and raw power. Their Top Dog is the Max, a vicious adrenalin freak.
'The novel begins as Vail is woken from cryo-sleep by one of the Curs. She's saved from pack-attack only because the Curs are distracted by the discovery of the latest victim of a serial killer. As with previous victims, the murder has been carried out in a ritualistic, geometrical manner. Vail offers her services as detective, if the Max will guarantee to keep the Curs from her. The Max gives her seven days to solve the killings.
'Eddon meanwhile remains in cryo-sleep. The Max has other plans for him – but he's not saying what. Vail moves in with Beano and Crissom, sharing their den in a far-flung corner of the Kennel.
'The investigation involves the use of amazing psychic techniques such as psi-singing and 'mind-burgling'. But the murderer manages to claim further victims. Vail's deadline approaches; and a different kind of deadline also approaches for Beano.
'At the same time, more and more spacecraft are flying towards the Centre, fleeing fron the ever-multiplying webs of the Anti-Human around the edges of the Galaxy. The Curs trap and capture one craft carrying refugees. The sole survivor is the voluptuous Lassinda Lusk, who becomes a new focus for the Curs' brutal lusts.'
Source: Author's blurb.
'Eddon and Vail are back at the Centre. But they're not together. Eddon has returned to ordinary police-work, while Vail is up on High Sphere, explaining about the Anti-Human to the elite members of the upper class.
'Eddon's new place of work is in Urban Disposal Site Number One – or 'the Uds' for short. The Uds is the lowest sleaziest area in the entire Metropolitan Zone, subject to dangerous dumpings of garbage. Its inhabitants are eccentric drop-outs – people like Sioreth, Criven, Estelle, Trexie, Amphister, Marassa Dolor and the two Quespian sisters. The Udsers are notable for their strange obsessions and addictions.
'Eddon doesn't want to have anything more to do with Vail. He has a new romantic interest in his life: a woman with violet eyes and skin the colour of apricots. But Vail isn't so easily excluded.
'When the murders begin, Eddon takes charge of the investigation. Still he doesn't want to call upon Vail for parapsychic assistance. But as the murders become more terrifying and more inexplicable, he finds himself desperate for any kind of lead.
'At the same time, he's also coming under increasing personal pressure. Dark events from his own past life return to haunt him. Meanwhile, Vail is running into family troubles of her own ...'
Source: Author's blurb.