In the year 2032, heroic cave diver James "J.T." Tighe is recruited by shifty bitcoin billionaire Nathan Joyce for a daring undertaking in outer space.
As a private entrepreneur, Joyce is out to introduce asteroid mining in cis-lunar space (the area above Earth's gravity well), which, by establishing commerce there, will, he promises, pave the way for space travel. The rub is that Joyce will do anything to keep the project afloat, including breaking laws and keeping crucial details secret. Tighe and his fellow crew members, ranging from a young male electronics expert from Nigeria to a legendary female mountain climber from Argentina, are tested and trained on Ascension Island in the South Atlantic, where they are bound to a strict confidentiality clause and denied any personal privacy. By the time these handsomely paid adventurers make it "farther from Earth than any human beings in history," we learn about their varied backgrounds, particularly the lingering effects of Tighe's troubled past. Fatal accidents occur before a shocking death imperils the crew's return home. Suarez's (Change Agent, 2017, etc.) ability to keep things humming through low-key stretches as well as dramatic sequences reflects his skills as a writer. He makes a curious choice in quickly dropping the sexual tension arising from group showers, among other nude encounters. But Suarez is otherwise in admirable control.
A cut above most tech novels, Suarez's latest benefits from his attention to detail, which boosts the believability of his futuristic vision.