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The Disappeared (Retrieval Artist #1)

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  1,652 Ratings  ·  195 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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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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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
Nov 19, 2014 Mathew Walls rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: female-authors, ebook
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
Snarktastic Sonja
Jun 27, 2016 Snarktastic Sonja rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book. I really did. It was a very intriguing world and a very intriguing story. It is *not quite* dystopian, more true sci-fi - I mean there ARE aliens. The characters are very well drawn.

I am, however, unlikely to continue the series. It just hits too close to home for me. The government - that is supposed to be protecting its citizens -is way too busy protecting its own behind to care about its citizens. Yep. This is why I won't continue.

If that doesn't bother you and you woul
Jun 11, 2015 Robyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
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.
Jun 07, 2009 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
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
It started off very entertaining with just the right amount of mystery. I liked the police procedural aspect with the two cops. The alternating POVs kept it speeding along. It did seem kind of weird that all of the aliens had the same or very similar laws about how people had to pay for what for their crimes. Except the Wygnin made the criminals' children pay by kidnapping them and trying to turn them Wygnin. Which worked if they were young enough and they could be happy members of Wygnin societ ...more
Mar 20, 2013 Josh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jan 26, 2014 Taylor rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 04, 2012 Virginia rated it liked it  ·  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.
Sep 08, 2016 Justine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
3.5 stars.
Lis Carey
Nov 23, 2013 Lis Carey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 really liked it  ·  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
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
Vanessa Grant
Nov 07, 2013 Vanessa Grant rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
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
Jun 08, 2009 Beth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dawn Albright
Dec 01, 2014 Dawn Albright rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sarah Anne
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
Jul 20, 2015 Crystal rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
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.
Mar 11, 2015 Wes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Oct 20, 2015 Dorothy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jun 18, 2015 Amanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars
Mary B. Grove
Nov 25, 2016 Mary B. Grove rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
hard to get into, but solidly worthwhile by the end

It took me some time to get into this book, mostly because the beginning of the book is about a bunch of different people, all desperate and you aren't given any info about who they are or what's going on, or even which one the main character is. It's odd for the MC not to be the focus for so long, and so for a while, I wasn't sure I knew or liked the character or if I understood where the story was going. Partly that's because there isn't a lot
I have the sneaking suspicion that I have read this before. Parts of it were vaguely familiar, but not enough that I remembered how it ended. A decent read, but obviously forgettable.
Good science fiction mysteries are a rare commodity these days. Few have been able to successfully combine the two genres into some semblance of a decent story. Kristine Kathryn Rusch bucks this trend with The Disappeared , the first of the Retrieval Artist series of books. First introduced in The Retrieval Artist and Other Stories , Miles Flint is a detective with the police force in Armstrong Dome on the Moon. When a series of seemingly unrelated cases appear, Flint quickly puts together t ...more
Nov 01, 2015 Rain rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 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)
Feb 15, 2013 Stephen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
This is, a fascinating book that appeals to, something or other, of what I like in scifi. In part that's, if there are going to be aliens, they're not that central - not that I dislike aliens, they just don't do much for me.

That said, I find the central conceit of dealing with truly alien legal systems at once fascinating and far fetched. Of course other aliens would have different moral codes, different value placed on life, different senses of crime and thus different ways of dealing with crim
May 10, 2013 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
The average rating for this book is 3.71 (May 10, 2013)... This is the lowest score in my read section of books to have a 5 star rating from me. This is one of my favorite series, so why such a low score? Seeing that Orson Scott Card called this series "some of the best science fiction ever written," I like to think its a great series were the first book has been horribly underrated.

If you look at the ratings, 31% gave this book 3/5. What truly annoys me is when people score a book with an aver
Marion Hill
Dec 21, 2013 Marion Hill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned

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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Play Book Tag: The Disappeared - Kristine Kathryn Rusch - 4 stars 2 9 Mar 20, 2016 01:27PM  
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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 18 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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