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Star Trek: Foul Deeds Will Rise

For a while now I have been catching up with a bunch of Star Trek novels that I had skipped reading when they were originally published.  With more books on my “to-read” shelf than I had time to read, I often found myself choosing to read the Star Trek novels that were set in the novel series’ wonderful interconnected continuity that moved the Star Trek story and characters beyond the series finales of the 24th century-set Trek shows (TNG, DS9, and Voyager).  This meant that often I wound up skipping the stand-along stories set in Captain Kirk’s era.  Over the past several months I have been finally catching up with those books, the first batch of which were all written by Greg Cox.  Mr. Cox is a terrific writer (his two Eugenics War novels are among my very favorite Trek novels!) and it has been a pleasure catching up with these great books that I had missed reading!

While the past several novels (including Assignment: Eternity, The Rings of Time, The Weight of Worlds, and No Time Like the Past) were all set during the Original Series era of Kirk’s first five-year mission on board the Enterprise, this latest novel, Foul Deeds Will Rise, is set during the movie era, between Star Trek V and Star Trek VI.  It’s an interesting change of pace, and Mr. Cox shows just as much skill at depicting the movie-era of Kirk and the Enterprise as he was at writing stories set during the five-year mission.

Foul Deeds Will Rise is a sequel to the Original Series episode, “The Conscience of the King.”  That episode ends with young Lenore Karidian exposed as a murderer and driven mad by the accidental death of her father at her own hands.  As she is taken away, McCoy assures Kirk that Lenore would get the best psychological care that the Federation could provide.  But what would become of Lenore?  Foul Deeds Will Rise picks up that fascinating question.

Twenty years after those events, the Enterprise-A is called in to help mediate a fierce dispute between planetary neighbors Oyolo and Pavak.  Kevin Reilly, now a Federation Ambassador, is back on board the Enterprise to help broker the peace talks.  While visiting Oyolo, Captain Kirk is shocked to encounter Lenore Karidian, now going under the name Lyla Kassidy.  After many years in a rehabilitation institute, Lenore/Lyla has been declared sane and released; she is now a part of a relief mission to Oyolo, where she attempts to give back to the Federation as a way of atoning for her crimes.  She agrees to join Captain Kirk on board the Enterprise for a reception, but when one of the peace envoys is murdered in a similar manner to how Lenore killed on board the Enterprise twenty years earlier, she is the primary suspect.  As the peace talks collapse and the two planets gear up for war, Captain Kirk must find a way to bring the enemies back to the negotiating table, while determining whether Lenore has truly changed or whether she is still a broken woman capable of murder most foul.

This is a terrific novel, one which kept me guessing right up until the end.  I loved the return of Lenore, and I loved the way Mr. Cox explored her and Captain Kirk’s conflicted feelings towards one another, and to everything that had gone down during the events of “The Conscience of the King” so long ago.  Mr. Cox did a great job at fleshing out Lenore, and showing us who she has become in the years since she was last on board the Enterprise.  While I suspected that Lenore would prove innocent of the crime, it wasn’t immediately clear which way the story would go, and I enjoyed the development and eventual resolution of the murder mystery.  I found Lenore’s story to be surprisingly moving, particularly at the end of the book.

I was also delighted that Mr. Cox brought back Kevin Reilly.  Reilly was a young, impulsive officer who appeared in only two Original Series episodes (“The Conscience of the King” and “The Naked Time”), and yet he left a strong impression.  It was great to see this character back, and to see how he had grown and matured into a capable Federation Ambassador.  And, of course, since he was almost killed by Lenore in “The Conscience of the King,” it was a delicious wrinkle to have him be involved in this story.  (I was also very happy to see Mr. Cox’s reference to Reilly’s having served as Kirk’s Chief of Staff, during Kirk’s brief stint at Starfleet Command before Star Trek: The Motion Picture, as depicted in the “Lost Years” series of Star Trek novels from the eighties and nineties.  That was a lovely touch of inter-novel continuity, referring back to that great book series that I suspect has been forgotten by many Trek fans.)

For most of this novel, Spock and Scotty were separated from the Enterprise crew, and I enjoyed their storyline immensely.  Spock and Scotty are a great pair, and it was fun to see the two have this story-line together.  I loved how Mr. Cox wrote this movie-era Spock.  He played the Spock of this era exactly right.  This Spock is calm, cool and collected at all times, as well he should be, and yet he also had a looseness, getting in some terrific deadpan lines throughout the book that I loved.

I was pleased with how Mr. Cox developed the two dueling alien races, the Oyolo and the Pavakians, and how Mr. Cox introduced and developed several interesting characters from both races.

I also loved how the resolution of the murder mystery connected to a classic Original Series episode!  Once again, Mr. Cox demonstrated a mastery of Original Series continuity, cleverly weaving in reference and connections in a very enjoyable way.  This particular connection (which I won’t spoil here) was a very clever plot twist.  (It makes perfect sense that someone would try to use what was an accident in that episode in a purposeful way.)

Foul Deeds Will Rise is a phenomenal novel, one of the best of these stand-alone Classic Trek novels I have been reading lately.  The novel was exciting and thrilling, while also attaining a true emotional depth.  I really enjoyed it.

Previous Star Trek novel reviews:

Star Trek – Unspoken Truth , Troublesome MindsCast No ShadowExcelsior: Forged in FireAllegiance in Exile, Legacies Book 1: Captain to CaptainLegacies Book 2: Best DefenseLegacies Book 3: Purgatory’s Key, The Face of the Unknown, From History’s Shadow, Elusive Salvation, Assignment: Eternity, The Rings of Time, The Weight of WorldsNo Time Like the Past

Star Trek: The Next Generation – The Sky’s The LimitResistance and Q & ABefore Dishonor and Greater than the SumDestiny trilogyA Singular DestinyLosing the Peace, Immortal CoilCold Equations Book 1: The Persistence of MemoryCold Equations Book 2: Silent WeaponsCold Equations Book 3: The Body ElectricThe Light Fantastic, Takedown, Armageddon’s Arrow, Prey Book 1: Hell’s Heart, Prey Book 2: The Jackal’s Trick, Prey Book 3: The Hall of Heroes, Headlong Flight, Hearts and Minds, Available Light

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – DS9 relaunch overviewThe Soul KeyThe Never-Ending SacrificePlagues of Night and Raise the Dawn, Section 31: Disavowed, The Missing, Sacraments of Fire, Ascendance, Force and Motion, The Long Mirage, Section 31: Control, Enigma Tales, Gamma: Original Sin

Star Trek: Voyager – Full CircleUnworthyChildren of the StormThe Eternal TideProtectors

Star Trek: Enterprise — Kobayashi MaruThe Romulan War: Beneath the Raptor’s WingThe Romulan War: To Brave the StormRise of the Federation: A Choice of FuturesRise of the Federation: Tower of Babel, Rise of the Federation: Uncertain Logic, Rise of the Federation: Live By the Code, Rise of the Federation: Patterns of Interference

Star Trek: Titan – Book 1: Taking WingBook 2: The Red KingBook 3: Orion’s HoundsBook 4: Sword of DamoclesUnder a Torrent SeaSynthesisFallen Gods, Absent Enemies (e-book), Sight Unseen, Fortune of War

Star Trek: Typhon Pact – Book 1: Zero-Sum GameBook 2: Seize the FireBook 3: Rough Beasts of EmpireBook 4: Paths of Disharmony, The Struggle Within (e-book), Plagues of Night and Raise the DawnBrinkmanship

Star Trek: The Fall — Book 1: Revelation and DustBook 2: The Crimson ShadowBook 3: A Ceremony of LossesBook 4: The Poisoned ChaliceBook 5: Peaceable Kingdoms

Star Trek: New Frontier – Series overviewStone & Anvil, After the Fall, and Missing in ActionTreason and Blind Man’s Bluff

Star Trek: Department of Temporal Investigations – Watching the ClockForgotten History, The Collectors (e-book), Time-Lock (e-book), Shield of the Gods (e-book)

Star Trek: The Lost Era – Book 1: The Sundered (2298)Book 2: Serpents Among the Ruins (2311)Book 3: The Art of the Impossible (2328-2346)The Buried Age (2355-2364)One Constant Star (2319)

Star Trek: Mirror Universe (Books 1 & 2) – Star Trek: Mirror Universe: Shards & Shadows – Star Trek: Mirror Universe: The Sorrows of Empire — Star Trek: Mirror Universe: Rise Like Lions –  Star Trek: Myriad Universes (Books 1 & 2) – Star Trek: Myriad Universes: Shattered Light

Beyond the Final Frontier — Josh’s favorite Star Trek novels

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