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By Christopher Bulis

Book review by Paul Scoones

From one cliché to another - this time it's Christopher Bulis's turn to steal from pulp literature, and he has selected a crime committed on a train that has to be solved before it reaches its destination. However, before I could say "Murder on the Orient Express" Bulis's book had me hooked and intrigued to read through to the end to find out exactly how things would pan out.

I'm not a great fan of Bulis's novels (his last - The Ultimate Treasure - was particularly turgid), but he's redeemed himself with Tempest, which while not being a great book is very readable, perhaps because unlike some of the broad themes and ideas he's unsuccessfully tried to convey in previous novels, the claustrophobic scenario of a small group of people isolated from civilisation and having find the murderer in their midst is suited to his talents as a writer. For once he hasn't allowed himself to become bogged down with the mundane concerns of explaining alien environments to the reader and instead has just got on with the business of telling a refreshingly straightforward story. [3/5]

This item appeared in TSV 53 (March 1998).

Index nodes: Tempest