Reminds a lot of FLASH up to and including the attacks on the protagonists home. The protagonist Blaine Donne is ex Special-Ops now he is a private researcher and problem solver on the planet Devanta. The story beginns when a client want him to research and prove links between Eloi Enterpises, the researcher Judeon Maraniss and Elysium.
Blaine is also hired by the Grand dame of the Tozzi family to find out if Maria Annette Tozzi’s groom is straight-straight as he states or if he is as rumor say is not.
The story switches back and forth between Blaine and Judeon Maraniss. Blaine has an interesting side activity, he moonlights as “the shadow”, a definite zorroesque character, fighting crime.
Pretty soon his questions and datasearches leads to attacks on his person and home. He is also hierd to check if Etoi Enterprises infringe on a patent. for a device that detects space deforming.
The most spectacular attack on Blaine is when a wall is dropped on the road and he is transported 10 km in an instance and dropped in a restricted military area with a swarm of murder insects on his tail. Blaine took the least of two evils, he ran for the restricted water reservoir nearby.
The framework for the story is a political power struggle between the rulers on Devanta,The Assembly it belongs to and Franken an external empire keen on some new real estate. The sisters that rule Devanta can’t seem to be to repressive, then the Assembly force a restructure of the planet. At the same time the Franken try to destabilize it, turning its society more inwards by promoting sin and the pleasures of the flesh. That’s one of the reason they fund Etoi Enterprises.
Etoi Enterprises are run by the ruthless Etoi brothers. They deal with the pleasures of the flesh and have a large compund called Times End. Blaine learns that they have a research facility in there. One that uses lots of power.
Family is important for Blaine he talks and visits his sister Krij often. Eventually he also discover that Siendra, his sister’s business partner since eight years is a beautiful and attractive woman.
I like the book but the story here is more than a bit inpropable even inside the framework of the future world Modesitt created. The end is satisfying but the prelude to the end is borderline deus ex machina.
The powercouple created with Blaine-Siendra has potential for more books.