M. Gil Sivart, the protagonist in The Digital Effect, is a sensitive yet tough ex-engineer turned micro-carbon-sculptor -- a hard-boiled detective with a Zen attitude. The action begins when M. Sivart is presented with an investigation of a suicide that smells more of murder. The reader is lead on a fast paced tour of the scene of the crime and it's limited surrounds on the Robert E. Lee, one of the Wheelworlds in orbit around late 21st century Earth. Possible suspects are examined and clues revealed with a bit of assistance from Ray El-Sayed, a sympathetic station police investigator who has been officially warned off the case, and from the victim's significant other -- an exotic dancer with a most interesting love of her work. Additional assistance, and a humorous subplot are provided by Base Alicante, a doctor whose attraction to Gil Sivart is over ruled by his desire to make his young male lover jealous and more amorous.
In this late 21st century setting, there are no tough challenges of learning heavy duty scientific or sociological concepts as the author has skillfully created a convincing backdrop for his story in plausible extensions forward of today's technologies. Fans of Steve Perry's SPINDOC and THE FOREVER DRUG novels -- or his MATADOR series -- will not be disappointed. And newcomers will find this a satisfying blend of the Mystery and Science Fiction genres. (EAG