In the cosmic realm of Eternity, there’s only one private eye to hire when your world gets turned inside out—Angela Hardwicke.
Darla Fyne, a college freshman and galaxy design savant, is suffering from a nervous breakdown—or is she the victim of an urban legend known as the Scarlet Raj?
As Hardwicke follows the intersecting worlds of art galleries, college dorms, and a semi-secret clan that patches up tears in the Universe, her investigation will either uncover a hoax gone wrong or a plot that could shift the balance of power across the entire realm. If only she can fight through her own paranoia to tell the difference.
In Russ Colchamiro’s new Sci-Fi mystery Fractured Lives, Angela Hardwicke is confronted by a PI’s worst nightmare—dark secrets from her past that will irrevocably change her future.
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I reach inside my jacket, hand on the grip of my weapon. I don’t want to use it. I don’t want to need it. I want this to be nothing more than another awkward, misconstrued moment in an awkward, misconstrued career taking on awkward, misconstrued cases.
I want to be free of danger. I want to stop putting myself in danger. I want to come home every night and hug my son. I want him to hug me back. I want to let go of the demons that haunt me, the past that defines me, and a future that frightens me.
I want to sleep at night.
I want to wake up in the morning believing my life doesn’t have to be one mystery after another, one dark path leading down a darker alley of a bitter, lonely labyrinth that inevitably reveals someone’s pain. Their ugly secrets.
But most of all, I want to be Angela Hardwicke.
Not Angela Hardwicke, Private Investigator. Just Angela
Hardwicke. Me. Whoever that is, and whatever that means. Which is all well and good, but if I don’t get myself out of this particularly awkward, misconstrued moment, I might not have the chance to find out.
Russ Colchamiro is the author of the rollicking space adventure, Crossline, the zany SF/F backpacking comedy series Finders Keepers: The Definitive Edition, Genius de Milo, and Astropalooza, and is editor of the SF anthology Love, Murder & Mayhem, all with Crazy 8 Press.
Russ lives in New Jersey with his wife, two ninjas, and crazy dog Simon, who may in fact be an alien himself. Russ has also contributed to several other anthologies, including Tales of the Crimson Keep, Pangaea, Altered States of the Union, Camelot 13, TV Gods 2, They Keep Killing Glenn, Thrilling Adventure Yarns, Camelot 13, and Brave New Girls.
He is now working on the first novel in a new series featuring his hardboiled private eye Angela Hardwicke, and the first of three collaborative novella projects.
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My thoughts: this is the second Angela Hardwicke book I’ve read and while some of the concepts take a little while to wrap my brain round – I like science-y things but I don’t always get them, I really enjoyed this. I think the characters are great, not just Angela but all her PI contacts, her eccentric cabbie friend, her tech guru, her sidekick, the whole team. Plus her adorable son who’s still getting his words together and has a sweet lisp (I have one too). We get a lot more of Angela’s past too, and it’s really sad. It explains her tough exterior and refusal to get too close to people.
I’m starting to understand the concept of the city a lot more too – they literally live in the building blocks of the universe – at least I think that’s right. The case has Angela delving into the designs for new universes – and a really messed up system that treats the designers as a conveyor belt – they don’t even get credit for their work. I’m intrigued to see where this series goes next as there’s some clever concepts at play here and a PI can go almost anywhere.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.