The Devil's Eye by Jack McDevitt
This book is a suspense novel in a science fiction setting. Alex Benedict, an antiquities dealer is approached by a woman to find out what happened to her. Vicki Greene's recent memories were destroyed. Thus ensues a mystery of tracking down where Vicki Greene was.
Alex ends up on a planet on the very edge of the galaxy Salud Afar. I really like the name of the planet. Salud Afar has just come out of a long period of tyrannical rule by a single family. It is a dangerous place to be.
As the novel progresses, the danger becomes deeper, the mystery unravels to reveal an earth shattering disaster, and the story becomes poignant and deep. The action is very fastpaced and well thought out.
The writing is quite believable because the author focuses on what makes us human and tries to tell a story we can relate to. There are aliens in this novel, but they are not people in rubber suits. The aliens frighten humans to the core even though they are not that hostile. The aliens in turn are equally unsettled by us. They are telepathic "mutes."
I thought the author was a bit conservative with emotional reactions from the central character and could have added a little more depth. I got confused sometimes about the reactions of Chase Kolpath, Alex Benedict's partner. I felt that the reactions of Chase Kolpath were not that convincing for a lady character.
Jack McDevitt won the Nebula award for his novel Cauldron. I have enjoyed several of his previous novels, especially his archaeological science fiction novels which are quite unique.