Two Suns at Sunset Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
Welcome to Dib!
Dib is an Earthlike planet, only slightly smaller, with shorter days and longer years, in orbit around twin suns.
On the continent of Geo, in the city of Velon in the nation of Inimata, a man lies dead in his study.
The Murdered Monk
In life, Professor Orno Linus was a world-class scholar: an astrophysicist, a dead-language linguist, and an expert in (and apparent true believer of) the religious concept of the Cull, i.e., the end of the world. Widely respected, nothing about Linus’s expertise suggests somebody might want him dead.
Professor Linus is also Brother Linus, a high-ranking member of an ancient, powerful religious organization known as the House. This makes his murder much more complicated, but no more explicable, because murder on House grounds just doesn’t happen. Not even when one of the last things the victim did was steal something important from the House vault.
Finally, Orno is also the younger brother of Calcut Linus, one of the most powerful and criminally dangerous people on the planet. Killing any Linus means incurring the wrath of a man for whom laws very rarely apply.
In short, Professor Orno Linus is a highly unlikely murder victim.
And yet, somebody killed him.
The Cursed Detective
Detective Makk Stidgeon already knows he’s unlucky. He’s a cholem: an outcast. A bad-luck charm. He was born this way, and has the brand on his wrist to prove it.
But in terms of bad luck, the gods have really gone overboard by sticking him with the Linus case.
Between a House leadership that seems more interested in retrieving their stolen artifact than in solving the murder of one of their own, the demands of the murderous Calcut Linus, a new partner who seems to know more than she’s telling, and an omnipresent news media constantly looking for an angle on the biggest story of the year, Makk barely has time to just follow the clues.
And that’s before an impossible video surfaces that purports to reveal the killer’s identity. What makes it impossible? The person in the video couldn’t have possibly done it.
To get to the bottom of the Orno’s murder, Makk will have to navigate between the House and the Linus family, find the source of the video, and figure out what’s missing from the House vault. Even if he can pull all that off, he may discover he’s not at the end of a mystery at all, but at the beginning of a much larger one.
Tandemstar: The Outcast Cycle. The journey begins here.
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|Listening Length||9 hours and 58 minutes|
|Narrator||Stefan Rudnicki, Gabrielle de Cuir, Paul Boehmer|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com.au Release Date||08 September 2020|
|Best Sellers Rank|| 132,723 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
560 in Hard Science Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
2,506 in Hard Science Fiction (Books)
2,692 in Adventure Science Fiction
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A significant part of the immediate issue being investigated by the detective hero was resolved at around 90% but then the next 4% was used to lead you into buying the next book in the series, with a number of issues not finalised and the "ending" being something along the lines of "there is much we need to talk about". So this book is very much NOT a stand-alone story and, in some ways, has more of a cliffhanger ending.
No indication of how many books there will be in the series and whether the reader will be strung along from one book to the next, never knowing the full story. I have, therefore, sadly taken the decision to delete it from my Kindle.
So what is this book? At it’s heart it is a murder mystery. But it is also science fiction – set on a completely different world. But all the characters are human, and even though this world has two suns, it is still oddly familiar. Things are just different enough so that you know it takes place somewhere else, but not so much that it feels confusing or alien.
The world building here is fantastic. There are so many things that are simply mentioned in the way you would if you were familiar with them, though of course they are all new to the reader. It makes me want to know more about this world.
The technology is not far advanced from where we are – it feels like 50 to 100 years in the future (like Blade Runner, which was set 37 years in the future (in 2019 as it turns out)) – with just a few things that we don’t quite have yet (flying cars are exist, but are very new. There is a space platform, but it does not appear any further space travel. They have lasers, but they aren’t efficient)).
Like any good story, the core are the characters, and these are developed quite well. Detective Makk Stidgeon is the hard boilded detective – a loner, with a tough exterior, but a heart that is in the right place. He finds himself getting deeper and deeper into a mystery, not only of the murder, but of the inevitable mcguffin behind it as well.
Obvious, this is the first of a series (it even has book one in the sub-sub title), and it ends with a not quite cliffhanger, but a giant hook for the next book, which I’m already anxious to read.
There were many parts of this book that stuck with me, but one particular line was over an above.
Makk and young podcaster have returned to his apartment late at night after he rescued her.
… “Just lie down next to me on the fold-out, and stop being stupid about it.” So they did that, and of course nothing happened, because she was recovering from a near-death experience and he was a giant bruise. And also, they were adults
I so enjoyed throwing the old trope that a man and a woman cannot share a bed without sex (I like to make the joke EVERY time I a couple can’t share a bed that the writer must obviously never have been married 😊 ). It is just really nice to see that childish concept finally thrown under the bus where it belongs.
I have really enjoyed Doucette’s other books, but this one may actually be my favorite (which doesn’t take away from any of the others, it just shows how good this one actually is). The next on in the series can’t come soon enough.
If you think his name is strange, that brings us to the second level... the story takes place on another world so everything is a little bit skewed from our normal expectations. I’ll admit, at first the weird names and odd slang phrases threw me off as I was reading. However, the author is so thorough with his world building that it soon starts to make sense. In fact, by the end of the book I was really appreciating his creative story telling.
In comparison, other mysteries seem almost lazy. I mean, here I got a great who-done-it AND a piece of speculative fiction all in one surprising package. It was a really engaging book & I recommend it to anyone who likes mysteries and doesn’t mind being surprised.
By the way, this is book one of a series but I’m glad to say that the ending is satisfying in itself, while leaving a few questions to be solved in later books.
Gene raises a lot of questions in the readers mind...some of which are answered, and others of which you THINK are answered, and some just remain unknown -- are these because all mysteries have some things that just don't make sense like real life, or are they clues into a future mystery?
I can see where the author got a few of his ideas, but frankly, it's very common, and it's hard to really know if you are reading something totally new as nobody has the time to read every past idea in every book published. These things don't distract from the STORY, so it's an enjoyable read! Give it a try.
There was a TV show called Backstrom starring Rainn WIlson (Dwight from The Office), that the main character reminds me of. Unlike the show, this story and world has intrigue and depth that challenges the typical stereotype of a grizzled veteran detective solving a high profile murder. The best part of this book is how a world that has an entire city in space also feels grounded and real.
It's hard to write this review without getting into spoilers, because so much happens just at the scene of the murder that draws you into the story and the characters. Trust me when I tell you, it's worth the read.
5 out of 5, will find a way to get the wife to read this book as well. She doesn't know it yet, but her being a fan of thrillers, murder and intrigue, this book has all that and more.