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The Disappeared (Retrieval Artist #1)

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  1,411 ratings  ·  177 reviews
In a universe where humans and aliens have formed a loose government called the Earth Alliance, treaties guarantee that humans are subject to alien laws when on alien soil. But alien laws often make no sense, and the punishments vary from loss of life to loss of a first-born child. Now three cases have collided: a stolen spaceyacht filled with dead bodies, two kidnapped hu ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published March 1st 2011 by WMG Publishing (first published 2002)
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Dirk Grobbelaar

He was amazed that something so beautiful could be so dangerous.

This book was just a total pleasure to read.

The premise here is quite simple: in order to co-exist with the Alien cultures in the galaxy, and for commercial and political gain, humanity has to adhere to the laws and regulations laid down by the different Alien civilizations. Inter species crimes are judged by a multi “cultural” tribunal, and if guilt against a human is determined, a warrant is issued. This whole setup is bad news f
Mathew Walls
Interesting concept, but approached all wrong. I like the idea of a story about fugitives on the run from interstellar law, with the problems of members of one species being convicted under the laws of another, but for some reason the author decided to make the protagonists of this book law-enforcement officers who do everything in their power to not enforce the law, which is incredibly irritating.

Also, the featured fugitives are all really dumb. There're the ones who've been sentenced to have t
The story of how Miles Flint becomes a 'Retrieval Artist.' I'd say more but I think half the fun of this book is the slow reveal of the world, governed by an intercultural law that allows aliens to enact punishments on humans for transgressions of their laws. Loved the world-building, the characters, and the many shades of grey (and I don't just mean the Moon dust) in the plot.
Does anyone remember that episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation where the young Mr. Crusher faces a horrible punishment for breaking a fence? The idea behind that episode forms part of the background for this seasons.

The Disappeared is sci-fi C.S.I. with a twist. Inter-galactic treaties have led to a simple rule. You commit a crime on a planet, you face that planet's punishment, even if it means handing over your baby because you stepped on something. It's this premise that makes the book sc
Micah Sisk
Having just read The Retrieval Artist, the novella that began this series, and having previously read two of Rusch’s standalone Retrieval Artist novels, I’ve decided to start going through this series in order of publication.

The Disappeared steps back in time and follows the events that led Miles Flint into becoming a Retrieval Artist: a private investigator dedicated to finding those who have “disappeared,” humans (usually) who have changed their identities and gone into hiding because of convi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This is the prequel to Rusch's 2000 story, "The Retrieval Artist." As that was and is one of my favorite novellas of all time, I was eagerly anticipating this book, and not disappointed in the least.

Miles Flint is a first-year detective on the Moon Sector Police, with his tough experienced partner, Noelle DeRicci. Both are smart and somewhat on the fringe of the agency, and thus tend to pick up the cases others don't really want. As the book opens they are given a case in the Port, a mysterious
May 04, 2012 Virginia rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Virginia by: Orson Scott Card
I do not want to live in the world Rusch has created in this series. It is too hard for me to read about aliens taking human babies/children as compensation/punishment/justice and humans allowing this to happen. Enough with the babies already! My heart just can't take it. In fact, I had to skip to the end to make sure I found out what happened before I would willingly continue reading.

Good story and descriptions but I think I will pass on the rest of the series.
I was hoping to enjoy this one much more than I did. It had some potential, but to my eye it bogged down in ideology.

The prose was workmanlike -- not stupid, certainly not glowing. It got the job done, and that's about it. The story reminded me somewhat of the old Sector General books -- here we are with several different alien species, and we're going to have fun describing them physically and talking about how differently they think and how hard it is to get along with them, but not really in
Dawn Albright
Emotionally gripping and well written. This is a police procedural in a world where the police are obligated to honor alien legal systems that seem unethical to our society. I initially wasn't so keen on the world building, because I thought it was odd that so many alien races would end up with legal systems so similar to ours in procedure but so alien in terms of the rules. It's like the aliens were simultaneously too alien and not alien enough. But then I read the headlines in the newspapers a ...more
Soooo... I totally feel bad about not loving this book. It looked so promising. My issues were the multiple POV and the multiple storylines. It drove me crazy and it jarred the book enough that I just couldn't get into it. The aliens were really cool, along with their totally bizarre laws. I mean, we'll take your first born child away from you because you built on land that we sold you? How screwed up is that? The aliens that were brought into the story were very unique and I can see where there ...more
Vanessa Grant
I loved this book. I thought I'd become jaded about reading Sci-Fi, but Kristine Kathryn Rusch changed my mind with The Disappeared, first in the Retrieval Artist series.

When I spotted this book a few days ago on a promotion and saw it was the first book in Rusch's Retrieval Artist series, I bought the eBook and started reading right away. Some years ago I'd enjoyed audio versions of one of Rusch's Retrieval Artist short stories, and was eager to read the first book.

Wow! Rusch is a skilled, hi
Lis Carey
Miles Flint and Noelle DeRicci, police detectives in Armstrong Dome on the Moon, have a problem.

They've been assigned to investigate first one, then two, then three ships arrived at the Moon under peculiar circumstances. These are quickly shown to be related to humans convicted of crimes against against alien laws, who have chosen to "disappear" rather than face their sentences.

The first contains three bodies, eviscerated in a Disty revenge killing.

The second carries five Wygnin and two human ch
Jan 08, 2012 Laurian rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Laurian by: Howard County Library
Shelves: fantacy
I burned through this book pretty quickly, which I found surprising given its more than lack-luster cover. Additionally, I had purchased her Black Queen and Black King series half a dozen years ago but haven't had a chance to read it yet. All signs pointed towards it being something that I would pick up from the library but not get around to reading it.

I can only be thankful for this magical thing that I have discovered called "paid leave". For four days vacation time I got about 10 days of sitt
This was like an old-fashioned detective story set on the moon. There was no character or relationship development to speak of, and the writing was...adequate. I'm never impressed by 3rd person omniscient narrators, popping in and out of characters' heads. The plot was just interesting enough to keep me reading without any particular concern for the characters involved.

What I did find intriguing was this exploration of one possible cultural conflict with alien cultures. The premise of the novel
DNF at 75% - The only interesting aspect of this book is the ways different alien cultures deal with justice. And it's barely touched upon. For a book with several people struggling against alien justice, it's pretty boring and not particularly well-written.
I have no defense against a book about interstellar law, human rights, morality vs. law, ethics, police procedurals, due process, etc.

This book (and series) is my crack.
This was an incredibly unique and interesting story world. The alien cultures and the new human culture that evolved with its connections with alien races is just amazing.

However, I had a hard time feeling sympathy for any of the characters in this book, with the exception of the two detectives. I was rooting for the aliens to win about 2/3 of the way through.

I also didn't like the message about morality in it. (view spoiler)
A flag on the shelf at the bookstore encouraged fans of Lois McMaster Bujold to check out Kristine Kathryn Rusch. Her first book in this series wasn't in stock, so I decided to go with the library rather than gamble on something in the middle. This was a good move. While far from the worst thing I've read, I can find little in this book to positively compare to Bujold (of whom I most certainly Am a fan.) OK, they're both female sci-fi authors. And they both have a male lead character named Miles ...more
Mar 19, 2015 Kevin rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nobody
It is book 1 - not bad and probably worth trying book 2 of the series. It's kind of a police detective story where the main character is not as cold-hearted as the job would require long term.

Apparently our society becomes so tired that they will allow alien cultures to impose their laws and punishments on us. The punishments include the taking of first borns from the parents and permanently bringing them into the alien society.

There isn't much discussion about how these kidnapped children (or a
An intriguing main character and universe. I found some parts a bit infodump with regard to what characters feel and think, and to police or legal procedures, while on the other hand it is not clear how come in a future society so similar to ours (at least on the humans' side) privacy laws seem to have been suppressed so that the aliens can buy data so easily and some company can sell them without even being fined. Moreover, how is it possibile that disappearance services are not committing a cr ...more
It had interesting themes and questions about alien relations. The novel took on the perspective of multiple characters--not for artistic reasons, but seemingly to ease the storytelling process. I don't prefer this type of storytelling as I find it difficult to relate to any/all the characters, and the emotional engagement is limited. Beyond that, the writing was not overly creative, though the scenery was easy enough to picture and the aliens were distinct. I suspect I would have enjoyed the wr ...more
Carly Kirk
Spoilers! The future that Rusch has created is an intriguing one. Detective Miles Flint and his partner DeRicci are handed 3 cases which end up being linked because each one involves people who Disappeared 10-15 years ago. Flint discovers that the Disappearance Company that helped them all disappear was sold recently and the new management is now selling the info to the aliens. The interplay between people and aliens is realistic and Flint and DeRicci are really likable main characters. This is ...more
I stopped after 3 hours and will not be finishing this book. The writing struck me as uninspired, the plot too bogged down in legal and police procedures. Maybe people who are fans of police procedurals would like this story, but it just wasn't for me. Another reason I didn’t finish was I didn’t think the narrator was very compelling [I listened to this as an audio book read by Jay Snyder]. The novel has many characters, male and female, including children. The narrator presented them more as ca ...more
On second reading I upped from 3 to 4 stars. I found the story far more engaging and thought provoking second time around. Being the first book in the series, the explanation through back story of why Miles ends up as a Retrieval Artist. is well crafted to set the stage for the books that follow.

Blending genres almost seamlessly between crime/mystery and science-fiction thriller, Rusch explores issues of law and justice between human and alien cultures...codified by umbrella Trade Agreements. F
This is a part of series (marked as the first one, although it seems there is one shorter text before this one, which inspired the whole thing), but it's a closed one.

The future. People have colonized many bodies of the Solar system and some more distant places too, they can deal with a range of diseases and symptoms of old age and are in contact with several alien species. The cultural exchange brings many advantages, but there is a tricky part: their way of thinking is very different, especial
Marion Hill

Has anybody ever read a science fiction mystery?

I must admit I love when authors combine genres in their books. Dean Koontz is one of the masters of genre combining and twisting in his works. The Disappeared by Kristine Kathryn Rusch is the first novel I’ve read that combines a standard science fiction setting with a traditional detective story theme.

Private detective Miles Flint and his partner, Noelle DeRicci, have been assigned to solve a couple of case
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Kristine Kathryn Rusch is an award-winning mystery, romance, science fiction, and fantasy writer. She has written many novels under various names, including Kristine Grayson for romance, and Kris Nelscott for mystery. Her novels have made the bestseller lists –even in London– and have been published in 14 countries and 13 different languages.

Her awards range from the Ellery Queen Readers Choice Aw
More about Kristine Kathryn Rusch...

Other Books in the Series

Retrieval Artist (1 - 10 of 16 books)
  • Extremes (Retrieval Artist, #2)
  • Consequences (Retrieval Artist, #3)
  • Buried Deep (Retrieval Artist, #4)
  • Paloma (Retrieval Artist, #5)
  • Recovery Man (Retrieval Artist, #6)
  • Duplicate Effort (Retrieval Artist, #7)
  • Anniversary Day (Retrieval Artist, #8)
  • Blowback (Retrieval Artist, #9)
  • A Murder of Clones (Retrieval Artist, #10)
  • Search and Recovery (Retrieval Artist, #11)

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