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Death Count
November 1992 Cover Image

Best Destiny Book Covers Shell Game


  • 276 Pages
  • November 1992
  • Book #62
  • Pocket Books
  • Paperback
ISBN: 0-671-79322-5


By: L. A. Graf

The disappearance of Andorian scientific genius
Muav Haslev fuels tensions between the Orions
and the Andorians - tensions that come dangerously
close to full scale war.  Captain Kirk and the crew
of the U.S.S. Enterprise are called to Starbase
Sigma 1, located on the edge of Andorian - Orion
space, to patrol the sector as a deterrent
to hostilities.

On arrival, the crew encounters an inexplicable
series of events, beginning with missing
equipment and shipboard malfunctions.  After a
deadly transporter accident, Kirk suspects
sabotage - suspicions that are confirmed by the
mysterious murders of three Federation officials.
Now, Kirk and crew must put together the
fragmented pieces of the puzzle, before the
Starship Enterprise faces destruction and the
galaxy faces interplanetary war.


I decided to re-read this novel (August 2006) and I'm glad I did.

First of all I want to tell you something that bothers me about
this story.  It might be something you wouldn't care about at all, but for
some reason it bothers me and I want to tell you about it.

There are several security crewmembers in this story and all are given names.
Ok, no big deal you say.  That's true, until you read their names:
Barrasso, Jagr, Lemieux, Tocchet, Robinson, Trottier, Sweeney.

Recognize any of them?  They're all former NHL hockey players!

I know it was probably done to "honour" those people but to me it's
just annoying!  I know it's been done a couple of other times in novels
but this is the most blatant example of it and it really annoys me!

The main characters in this story are Chekov, Sulu and Uhura
so don't expect to spend a lot of time with Kirk, Spock and McCoy.
And, in my opinion, none of the usual main characters are written well.
Spock's dialogue (what little there was of it) just didn't sound to me
as if Spock would have said it quite that way.  Kirk was written only
slightly better as was McCoy.

Having said all that, you're probably thinking I hated this novel,
but the fact is I enjoyed it . . . for the most part.
The story is certainly an interesting one, as murder mysteries usually are.
There's plenty of stuff going on that just doesn't seem to add up and
it kept me interested all the way through, wondering
who the bad guy actually was.

So, even though there were a few things I didn't like,
this novel did hold my interest with a solid story so I've
given it a rating of 3 stars, up from my previous 2 star rating.

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

Here's a bit of trivia you might not be aware of:

L. A. Graf isn't a real person, it's a pseudonym used by
Julia Ecklar and Karen Rose Cercone.  Previously, Melissa Crandall
was part of L. A. Graf but she only co-wrote "Ice Trap"

L. A. Graf stands for: Let's All Get Rich And Famous.




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