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The Disappeared

(Retrieval Artist #1)

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  1,924 ratings  ·  222 reviews
His name: Miles Flint. His occupation: Retrieval Artist. His job: Hunt down the Disappeared--outlaws on the run, wanted for crimes against alien cultures. The catch: Flint isn't working on the side of the law.

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 w
Paperback, 374 pages
Published July 1st 2002 by Roc (first published 2002)
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Average rating 3.76  · 
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 ·  1,924 ratings  ·  222 reviews

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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 for h
Mathew Walls
Sep 19, 2013 rated it did not like it
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 sentenc
Oct 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: women-writers, 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 scary and leads the re/>The
Snarktastic Sonja
Mar 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
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 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
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.
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 convictions for/>The
Maggie K
Oct 08, 2017 rated it liked it
A fast paced space mystery that lays the groundwork for a series.

Flint has just made detective on the moon, a long-time dream. But if this week is an example of the kind of cases he is going to get, he already regrets the goal. 3 cases seem to overlap in that they involve turning humans over to alien races for punishment. Enforcing laws that do not seem moral makes Flint dig deep, hoping for a loophole. Instead he finds all sorts of graft. People who have paid good money to 'disappear' from the
Apr 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
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 rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 06, 2013 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 30, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
May 02, 2012 rated it liked it
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.
Jun 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-read
3.5 stars.
McCartha Sheron
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Page turning science fiction

The Disappeared explores the nuances of conflict between human and alien cultures. Three desperate humans have employed a disappearance service because separately they have unwittingly violated alien taboos. Many before them have done the same, but now all in hiding are in jeopardy as the files of Disappearance Inc are being sold to bounty hunters eager to bring these humans to what they consider justice and receive large amounts of money as a reward.

Ebalyn McCullagh
Aug 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This is new to my reading. Rarely do I read about living in the future, of air traffic, aliens, and life in enclosed domes, . Although, I do watch such movies and shows. So, now I believe my reading choices have been expanded again.
Ben Goodridge
Sep 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Hard science fiction meets hard-boiled crime drama.
May 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great Sci-Fi novel!
Lis Carey
Nov 16, 2013 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
Dec 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
May 10, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
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 no
Marion Hill
Aug 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
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 cases
Vanessa Grant
Nov 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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 rated it liked it
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 o
Dawn Albright
Dec 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 25, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
This is the story of detective Miles Flint of the Moon Sector Police. While it has space yachts, aircars, laser guns, aliens, lawyers, cops, and abducted children - its world seemed to be not much more than an exaggeration of a setting somewhere like Los Angeles with yachts, cars, guns, foreign nationals, lawyers, cops, and abducted children. So, action high, creativity low, recommendation medium.
Jul 13, 2015 rated it did not like it
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.
Ed Dragon
Sep 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: there-is-a-child
Story is based on the foundation that there is an alien race that controls human society, primarily the law. Not much is explored of how it came to be, rather, it is how the present is and things are happening. Fact alone, failed to impress me, but I can see how it can be interesting for others.
Mar 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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.
Feb 14, 2013 rated it liked it
Not bad. An interesting idea, if clumsily executed, and it kept me turning pages. Fluffy digestible fun and I'll probably pick up the sequel at some point.
Jun 09, 2015 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
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Play Book Tag: The Disappeared - Kristine Kathryn Rusch - 4 stars 2 9 Mar 20, 2016 10:27PM  

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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 Award

Other books in the series

Retrieval Artist (1 - 10 of 20 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: A Retrieval Artist Short Novel
  • A Murder of Clones (Retrieval Artist, #10)