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SOMA BLUES by Robert Sheckley


by Robert Sheckley

Pub Date: April 24th, 1997
ISBN: 0-312-86273-3
Publisher: Forge

Because Hob Draconian, of the Alternative Detective Agency (Draconian New York, 1996, etc.), once knew Stanley Bower, the drug dealer lying murdered in a Paris street, Inspector Emile Fauchon thinks Hob can help identify the two men who killed him. But Hob's more disquieted by something else he recognizes: a green glass bottle found in Bower's hand, a dead ringer for the bottles Hob once used to package the hash oil he sold his hundreds of intimate friends. So it's not just money that makes him so eager to take a check from Bower's brother Timothy to investigate his murder. Back on his island paradise of Ibiza, Hob doesn't find any trace of the bottles that ended up with his ex- lover Annabelle, but he does find traces of bizarre international intrigue, with a hotelier looking to buy oil paintings by the yard at one end and a seductive new drug called soma at the other. Surviving a spate of Saturday-matinee attempts on his life (``I just hate to see this happening to someone from Ibiza,'' Annabelle rhapsodizes as Hob is borne implacably toward the jaws of death), Hob ends up floating down gently from his brief stint as a willing human sacrifice to close the case in a flutter of his usual non sequiturs. Enough art dealers, dope dealers, incognito presidents of emerging nations, and unwelcome weekend guests to send you happily off to dreamland, where this wild tale's mad lapses of logic may actually make sense.