Belief systems are often a part of who we are based on what we were exposed to as we developed from childhood to adulthood. While strong, the beliefs may be subject to change due to several factors. One of those would be seeing something that you have been told is not possible. You then either begin to question your actual beliefs finding a way to make your vision fit your back ground, or you begin to wonder if you are beginning to lose touch with reality.
In Chasing Vegas by Tad Vezner, we follow the exploits of Ricky Vegas as he tries to reconcile his own background and beliefs. Recently released from jail, he has been instructed by his parole officer, Geoffrey Sink, to get a job and stay in Vegas. This is an easy request, one that Sink has been making in his many years as an officer.
When Vegas disappears and is spotted entering Horizon station, it appears he may be trying to use the interstellar transit system to not just leave Las Vegas, but to go much further. Sink is surprised when a massive manhunt occurs. What would create such an unusual event, why is this man now in the spotlight”? Soon Sink finds himself in the middle of the manhunt, surrounded by bloody incidents and dead bodies, causing a shutdown of the station.
When Sink realizes that Vegas has timed his move to coincide with the appearance of the originals, he begins to question everything thing he knows of Vegas’ background. The originals are the first astronauts to return from deep space, and as such they are virtually worshipped. As Sink begins to follow the unraveling life of Vegas, he finds a secret hidden in his past. Accused of trying to kill the Originals, only Vegas and the Originals really know the truth. But for some reason neither of them is talking. What is the secret they are trying to protect? Is Vegas willing to die to hide the reasons behind the killings? As Sink delves further into the discrepancies, he begins to see what appears to be a cover-up. Can he find Vegas in time to get the answers?
Vezner has written a science fiction tale with the overtones of a thriller. The characters are well written and believable. Sink reminds me a bit of the part in the old Columbo TV series played by Peter Falk. He seems to be a bit bumbling, and others tend to not see how sharp he really is. His techniques for getting information are a bit sly and seem to take others off guard. Vegas himself is a maverick. He has become a loner and no longer knows who to trust. There is something quite admirable about him, and yet it is difficult to understand the things he does. Somehow you know that something drives him.
The twists and turns often took me off guard and I would lose where I was for a moment, but nevertheless I found the book to be absorbing. The characters that enter and exit are a tough bunch, and the scenes as they are played out are well written.
If you enjoy thrillers and quick paced excitement, you would enjoy this book. Light science fiction aficionados as well as those that enjoy a good puzzle would also enjoy the work. There is something at work here that drives everything that happens.
It is a challenge to see if you can puzzle it out, often it is easy to see where a story is headed, but this ending takes you by surprise. This is a futuristic novel that adds a bit of punch and danger, just the right mix to keep you reading well into the night.