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ALL THE WRONG MOVES


By Merline Lovelace

Berkley Prime Crime, November 2009 ($6.99)
ISBN-10: 0425231186
ISBN-13: 978-0-425-23118-0

Reviewed by Cherie Jung

Samantha is a sassy protagonist. (My favorite kind!) Her colleagues call her "Techno Diva" (and a few other not-so-nice nicknames). She’s a lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force, although not a happy one. She signed up with the Air Force while rebounding from a disastrous, albeit short, marriage. She now finds herself in Dry Springs, Texas as the project manager of a team evaluating various inventions designed to develop new technologies that will improve military operations. Currently the team is tasked with evaluating an EEE -- ergonomic exoskeletal extension. A composite material with the strength of metal encompasses a soldier in a sort of skeleton. The onboard computer software allows the soldier to think about movements and the exoskeleton responds with the appropriate movement. Or so the theory goes.

While putting the EEE (or EEEK, as the team calls it) through its paces at 2 a.m., Samantha steps in the putrefying remains of two bodies. The unwelcome discovery puts her in danger.

Since Samantha has served only 13 months of her four-year enlistment, I am looking forward to more Samantha Spade adventures.

Readers who like their female protagonists irreverent and spunky will take to Samantha right away, even if her superiors in the U.S. Air Force don’t.

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