Killer in the Retroscape

Written by Bruce M. Perrin ⎮ Narrated by Denver C. Risley

Author: Bruce M. Perrin
Narrator: Denver C. Risley
Length: 8 hours and 42 minutes
Publisher: Mind Sleuth Publications
Released: October 21, 2020
Genre: Science Fiction

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In 2068, in St. Louis, Missouri, Dr. Douglas (Doug) Michaels finds his lifelong friend Josh Unger dead in his home.

When law enforcement concludes his death was a suicide, Doug and his wife Ali are dumbstruck; they wonder what could explain such a needlessly violent and lonely death in a future where such actions are unimaginable.

Trying to unearth a killer, be it either flesh and blood or the cumulative stress of life, Doug creates a mental landscape of Josh’s past, a retroscape, starting in the mid-2030s.

Among its landmarks are:

  • An illness sensationalized in the media as the “zombie pandemic” that drives a wedge between husband and wife, parents and children
  • Cryptic communications between Josh and an “after-life specialist” who peddles immortality services
  • A mysterious phrase uttered at the assassination of a government official that ties it to Josh’s death 14 years later
  • Josh’s machine-intelligence wife Julia, who may hold the secret to his death...if she can only remember

In the end, determining guilt in a retroscape littered with suspects tells Doug more about humanity, technology, and himself than he ever would have imagined.

Sophia Rose's Review

4 Stars

This audiobook was provided by its author, Bruce M. Perrin, in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. Thanks, Bruce!

What will the future look like? Killer in the Retroscape is a near future sci-fi that lavishly describes a fair idea while presenting an intriguing mystery. An industrial psychologist is unconvinced his old co-worker and friend took his own life when he’s found dead.

Exploring the future in Perrin’s Killer in Retroscape world was a feast for the imagination. Much is simply details coloring in the backdrop, but it is also what lies at the heart of the story. I really liked the main character, Doug, who is doing the investigation along with his intuitive and bright wife who is brilliant in the field of medicine and his virtuent assistant an A.I. that helps him create the retroscape of memories he uses to aid in solving the mystery.

The actual mystery stays in the background many times in the story though it is there and Doug is working through what he knows from the past as well as a few clues he must find from outside sources. There are dragging spots when too much description occurs, but for the most part I was right in the moment and enjoying it all. I had my suspicions about the solution and, happily, I was not wrong- though there was a twist that got me near the end.

Denver Risley was a new-to-me narrator who I thought matched Doug’s reflective and analytical personality well. He had no trouble with the female, AI or automated voices either. A strong, versatile voice in fact. The quality of the production was good.

All in all, Killer in the Retroscape was an engaging sci-fi mystery that was strong on the sci-fi and left me interested in more of the author and narrator’s works.

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