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Inspector Angel Cardenas has seen murdered corpses like George Anderson's, but never a case like this. The victim's ID doesn't match his DNA, Anderson's wife and preteen daughter, Katla, are missing, their home has been turned into a time bomb-and mobs from three continents are all hunting Katla. Relying on his training as a nearly telepathic intuit, Cardenas embarks on a search for clues that leads him from the Strip's sex parlors and stimstick clubs, where kids are deadly and music can kill, to an undersea hideout where computer crimes are committed by criminal computers. Yet the closer Cardenas gets to the girl, the closer assassins are getting to them both...
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Born in New York City in 1946, Foster was raised in Los Angeles. After receiving a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science and a Master of Fine Arts in Cinema from UCLA (1968, l969) he spent two years as a copywriter for a small Studio City, Calif. advertising and public relations firm. His writing career began when August Derleth bought a long Lovecraftian letter of Foster's in 1968 and much to Foster's surprise, published it as a short story in Derleth's bi-annual magazine The Arkham Collector. Sales of short fiction to other magazines followed. His first attempt at a novel, The Tar-Aiym Krang, was bought by Betty Ballantine and published by Ballantine Books in 1972. It incorporates a number of suggestions from famed SF editor John W. Campbell. Since then, Foster's sometimes humorous, occasionally poignant, but always entertaining short fiction has appeared in all the major SF magazines as well as in original anthologies and several "Best of the Year" compendiums. Six collections of his short form work have been published. Foster's work to date includes excursions into hard science-fiction, fantasy, horror, detective, western, historical, and contemporary fiction. He has also written numerous non-fiction articles on film, science, and scuba diving, as well as having produced the novel versions of many films, including such well-known productions as Star Wars, the first three Alien films, and Alien Nation. Other works include scripts for talking records, radio, computer games, and the story for the first Star Trek movie. In addition to publication in English, his work has appeared and won awards throughout the world. His novel Cyber Way won the Southwest Book Award for Fiction in 1990, the first work of science-fiction ever to do so. Though restricted (for now) to the exploration of one world, Foster's love of the far-away and exotic has led him to travel extensively. After graduating from college he lived for a summer with the family of a Tahitian policeman and camped out in French Polynesia. He and his wife JoAnn Oxley, of Moran, Texas, have traveled to Europe and throughout Asia and the Pacific in addition to exploring the back roads of Tanzania and Kenya. Foster has camped out in the "Green Hell" region of the Southeastern Peruvian jungle, photographing army ants and pan-frying piranha (lots of small bones; tastes a lot like trout); has ridden forty-foot whale sharks in the remote waters off Western Australia, and was one of three people on the first commercial air flight into Northern Australia's Bungle Bungle National Park. He has rappelled into New Mexico's fabled Lechugilla Cave, white-water rafted the length of the Zambezi's Batoka Gorge, driven solo the length and breadth of Namibia, crossed the Andes by car , sifted the sands of unexplored archeological sites in Peru, gone swimming with giant otters in Brazil, and surveyed remote Papua New Guinea and West Papua both above and below the water. His filmed footage of Great White Sharks feeding off South Australia has appeared on both American television and the BBC. Besides traveling he enjoys listening to both classical music and heavy metal. Other pastimes include basketball, hiking, body surfing, scuba diving, collecting animation on video, and weightlifting. He studied karate with Aaron and Chuck Norris before Norris decided to give up teaching for acting. He has taught screenwriting, literature, and film history at UCLA and Los Angeles City College as well as having lectured at universities and conferences around the country and in Europe. A member of the Science-Fiction Writers of America, the Author's Guild of America, and the Writer's Guild of America, west, he also spent two years serving on the Planning and Zoning Commission of his home town of Prescott, Arizona. Foster's correspondence and manuscripts are in the Special Collection of the Hayden Library of Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona. The Fosters reside in Prescott in a house buFrom Publishers Weekly:
Bestseller Foster (The Dig; Interlopers; etc.) elevates this well-paced, hard-boiled SF police procedural through the use of a highly imaginative setting the sprawling Montezuma Strip, which stretches along the old U.S.-Mexican border and constitutes "the western hemisphere's largest concentration of industry, commerce, assemblage, cutting-edge technology, and trouble." When police inspector Angel Cardenas investigates the case of a male corpse found with most of its internal organs missing ("They'd left the heart. Not much of a demand for hearts these days. Not with good, cheap artificial models flooding the market"), the victim turns out to have had two identities one as a local executive, the other as a Texas businessman. The plot thickens when the victim's booby-trapped house nearly kills Cardenas and his partner. After a few more near escapes, they establish that the corpse's "wife and daughter" are actually Surtsey and Katla Mockerkin, the ex-wife and 12-year-old daughter of crime lord Cleator Mockerkin, who wants them back in (literally) the worst way. By now Cardenas is sufficiently determined to follow them to Central America, aided by his training as an almost telepathic intuit. The amazingly versatile author plays with a full deck of futuristic elements notably, sapient apes led by gorillas and intelligent rogue computers that commit computer crimes. An ambiguous but nonetheless satisfying ending leaves open the possibility of another story about Inspector Cardenas.
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