McDevitt, Jack [pointer] INFINITY BEACH Alien-contact/murder mystery from the ever-reliable author of Moonfall (1998), etc. Hundreds of years hence, humans have colonized remote planets, but no alien life-forms have ever been encountered. Decades ago, survey ship Hunter suffered engine problems and returned early to planet Greenway. Soon after, crew members Emily and Yoshi vanished; Kile Tripley was presumed killed in a mysterious explosion; and the fourth, war hero Markis Kane, never piloted another ship and retired into obscurity on Earth. Thereafter, the explosion area was considered to be haunted. So what really happened? Now, Emily’s sister Kim Brandywine, while working on an unrelated project, becomes curious and decides to reinvestigate an affair that everyone else prefers to forget. With her friend Solly Hobbs, Kim ignores hostility and stonewalling—officials have locked away Hunter’s flight log—and steals the records. The log, she discovers, has been faked: Emily never returned. Kim encounters the ghost, too—an alien somehow brought back by Hunter? After more sleuthing, Kim and Solly uncover Yoshi’s remains. Did Tripley murder her? Kane, however, loved Emily, and after returning painted many pictures of her. One of them shows an alien starship, a model of which is owned by Tripley’s clone-son, although he doesn’t know what it really is. Soon Kim and Solly will have no choice but to steal a ship and go searching for some answers. Gripping mystery, taut intrigues—the forgoing barely hints at the complexities here—and fascinating aliens: an altogether splendid, satisfying puzzle.