Monday, March 30, 2015

Edi's Spotlight: The Void by Timothy S Johnston

Dear Readers,

today is the day of  The Void (digital, 30th March 2015) [Kindle edition ASIN: B00N0MYHBI] by Timothy S. Johnston which is the third an final book in the Tanner Sequence. It is also the day of my review of  The Void.

I was keen to read  The Void after I have had the pleasure to devour The Furnace (digital 2013) [Kindle edition ASIN: B00F942TT2] - my review -  and The Freezer (digital 2014) [Kindle edition ASIN: B00KPJNL3E].

No without further ado my two cent about The Void

Book Store Information
In general my decision to read a book is mostly based on the cover and the blurb/synopsis delivered on the back cover. You do not get more information when you are in a book store. The world of books is changing which means I also will take in account blurbs and descriptions on GOODREADS and other places.
Here we go:

The Void (digital, March 30th, 2013) 
[Kindle edition ASIN: B00N0MYHBI

"2403 AD

It would be easier to kill him than to trust him.

Transporting a serial killer might seem like a simple job for CCF Homicide Investigator Kyle Tanner. After spending years apprehending murderers, he's ready to hang up his pistol. Babysitting a prisoner will bring him to Alpha Centauri, where he can search for a way to escape the CCF forever.

If he makes it.

When his ship breaks down in deep space and a CCF research vessel comes to his aid, Tanner realizes he's in terrible danger: the scientists on board have blocked his distress call. And when Tanner's prisoner escapes, he begins to suspect that the proximity of the research vessel had nothing to do with luck and everything to do with the CCF's relentless reach.

Facing near-certain death by his own organization, Tanner must unravel a tangled skein of vengeance, duplicity and murder in deep space. But he's being held at the will of master puppeteers, and if he can't cut the strings, he'll dance straight to a gruesome, excruciating death…." [Source]

The Delivery
The 304 pages are divided into 34 consecutively numbered chapters framed by a prologue and  an epilogue. Narration is in first person via main character Lieutenant Kyle Tanner, CCF investigator.

This is the third and as far as I know the final appearance of Lieutenant Kyle Tanner, CCF investigator.
After the hot like hellfire environment in The Furnace and the ice-cold  environment in The Freezer it is the great blankness between the stars where most of the story takes part in The Void.
The story starts with a gory mess left by a serial killer which is nothing for the faint heart. It is up to Kyle Tanner to arrest the "Grim Reaper". One more success in the career of the CCF investigator.

After the disturbing prelude the reader gets a rest in form of information about  Tanner's  private life and a first insight into his thoughts about future. This part is welcomed and necessary for the story at the same time.

With the start of the serial killer transfer to Alpha Centauri the wheel is set into motion. In case you read The Furnace and/or The Freezer before, you count the pages until the real drama starts.
In this regard The Void is no exception.

What follows is the third classic murder mystery spiced with science taking place in a distant future. The description of the claustrophobic location - two space ships in the great blankness between the stars is excellent and breathtaking.

I admire the fact that the reader does not know more than investigator Kyle Tanner. Even when you try to avoid guessing you will fail after a short time. More less permanently new pieces of information coming in and together with Kyle Tanner you have to put together the jigsaw pieces which sometimes lead you in a completely wrong direction.

The crew of the research vessel looks innocuous at first sight. Tanner is a master when it comes "to peel" the many layers of the personality of each crew member.

There is a complex relationship between the crew members who furthermore have different ranks and therefore different authorities and there motives and there is one dead crew member .... Incredible.
But that is not half of the complexity. Add to this the serial killer AND Shaheen who is Kyle lover and is also on board of the transfer ship.  Both are in discussion about their future.

I think for clarification I have to add the both vessels are stranded in the great blankness.
It does not take long and the life of Kyle is in serious danger. With that, tons of action comes into play.
So far I did not talk about politics which play of course an important role too. It seems the whole galactic situation is condensed on board the vessel.

Like in  The Furnace and in The Freezer science is an important ingredient. There are moments where you think Kyle Tanner is one man CSI team. In lack of a physician - WHAT?? No physician on board the research vessel?? -  it is up to the investigator to perform a postmortem investigation. The description of the postmortem clearly shows that the author must have spent some time in a real morgue. It is no spoiler when I tell you the postmortem is one of the key elements to understand what happened.

The more I think about the book after reading it the more I admire what  Timothy S. Johnston delivered. While reading I did not realise the real complexity of the story. In fact there passages where the difference between string puppets and puppeteers is blurred.

Even I know that this is for now the last book in the Tanner Sequence, I have been surprised by the end. I found it most satisfying and it comprise the possibility of more stories starring Kyle Tanner.

Like The Furnace and The FreezerThe Void works as a stand-alone. BUT BUT BUT I really recommend to read all three books because all three are excellent classic murder mysteries  spiced with science, action and emotion taking place in a distant future at extraordinary and unique environments  and you learn more about Lieutenant Kyle Tanner, CCF investigator.

The Inevitable

Timothy S. Johnston did it again for the third time and I begin to discover why The Void is the last book in the Tanner Sequence for now. Each book is set in an extraordinary and unique environment without they would have delivered only half the fun.

I have had a superb, nailing and most entertaining time with Kyle Tanner and other characters and all my guesses went wrong.

The Void is the more than worthy end of the Tanner Sequence. It delivers a lot for different readers.
If one of the following expressions should ring a bell then you should have a look at The Void:
murder mysteries, science fiction, thrillers, medical mysteries, locked rooms, conspiracy, horror

 You are looking for
Classic murder mysteries  spiced with understandable science, tons of action and roller coaster emotions at extraordinary and unique locations taking place in a distant future

then read
The Furnace,  
The Freezer,
and from today (30th March 2015) on  
The Void 

Additional Information
THE VOID by Timothy S. Johnston (Carina Press, 2015) is now available! Purchase here:

TSJ on Facebook:
TSJ on Twitter:
TSJ on Goodreads:
TSJ on Instagram:
Purchase links:

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