A high-concept science fiction thriller wrapped around a love story, a man’s search for the truth about his dead wife, and his relationship with the artificial intelligence he has built to replace her.
After a five year sabbatical following the tragic death of his wife and fellow agent Alysha, Keona Rause returns to the distant colony world of Magenta to resume service with the Magentan Intelligence Service. With him he brings an artificial recreation of his wife’s personality, a simulacrum built from every digital trace she left behind. She has been constructed with one purpose – to discover the truth behind her own death – but Keona’s relationship with her has grown into something more, something frighteningly dependent, something that verges on love.
Cashing in old favours, Keona uses his return to the Service to take on a series of cases that allow him and the artificial Alysha to piece together his wife’s last days. His investigations lead him inexorably along the same paths Alysha followed five years earlier, to a sinister and deadly group with an unhealthy fascination for the unknowable alien Masters; but as the wider world of Magenta is threatened with an imminent crisis, Keona finds himself in a dilemma: do his duty and stand with his team to expose a villainous crime, or sacrifice them all for the truth about his wife?
Sam Peters is a mathematician, part-time gentle-person adventurer and occasional screenwriter who has seen faces glaze over at the words ‘science fiction’ once too often. He brings a striking new voice to the Gollancz list and his inspirations include Dennis Potter, Mary Doria Russell, Lynda La Plante, Neal Stephenson, and Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.