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    TANGLED UP IN BLUE by Joan D. Vinge

    TOR, Tom Doherty Associates, July 2000

    On Tiamet, the Snow Queen allows all matter of corruption and illegal activities. Nyx LaisTree (Tree), and his fellow policemen respond by vigilante destruction of illegal smuggling activities. On one of these vigilante raids, everything goes wrong. Of the vigilante group, Tree alone survives and he suffers from amnesia and is suspended from the police. Sergeant Gundhalinu was one of the first officers to respond to the raid and was also wounded. He suspects something more complex than a simple mistake but what?

    Tree and Gundhalinu both investigate, neither trusting the other with the truth but sometimes forced to work together. There is an active criminal underworld on Tiamet, but Tree feels there must be more. Somehow, the entire fiasco is tangled up in the blue of the police.

    Arienrhod, the Snow Queen's reign is coming to an end. Soon, the off-planet population will vanish and the summer barbarians will destroy everything she has created. Arienrhod has resolved to fight back, to gain the illicit technologies that will preserve her rule and allow her culture to survive the barbarians. She is willing to pay whatever price needed, even if it means working with criminals and undermining the foreign police. Of course, a battle within the police department might be even better, for her purposes.

    TANGLED UP IN BLUE offers a disturbing view of the future with secret societies battling within themselves for control over technology and for humankind itself. Everyday morals like those held by Tree and Gundhalinu must be sacrified for the greater good as understood by the enlightened ones. Tree and Gundhalinu fight back, creating an unlikely alliance with some of the same criminals who have destroyed so much of Tiamet to confront the coruption within the police department. Yet with every step, they seem to bury themselves deeper in danger.

    Three Stars

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