Book Review: The Furnace by: Timothy S. Johnston

Rating: 5/5

Publisher: CreateSpace (2011), Carina Press (2013)

Publish Date: September 19, 2011 (org.)

Origins: From Author for Review

Format: Trade Paperback

Order From:  Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Synopsis: As a Homicide Investigator working the solar system’s most remote outposts, Lieutenant Kyle Tanner has been involved in more criminal investigations and captures than any other in Security Division. He hunts his prey stealthily, tracking them through the trail of victims cast behind, and makes difficult captures when no one else can. He has seen the twisted remains, things that used to be human but are now barely meat. And he’s executed those who have done such horrible deeds.

His most recent case takes him to SOLEX One, a power-generating station that orbits precariously near the Sun. Among the fifteen inhabitants is a killer, a disturbed crewman who for some reason has mutilated his victim. But when Tanner arrives and begins the investigation, he’s shocked to learn that this is no ordinary murder. There appears to be no motive for the crime, and no reason for the mutilation after death. But what Tanner doesn’t realize is that something terrifying is amplifying among the station’s personnel ... and if he doesn’t solve the mystery, the result could be the extinction of the human race. 

Review: ‘The Furnace’ is one of those stories which has you believing the events could truly come to pass. Set on a research and power-generating station orbiting the Sun (way too close for my comfort!), there has been a death. Normally how the crewman died would be considered an accident, but when the body is mutilated, the Council sends one of its best investigators, Lieutenant Tanner to ferret out the truth. However, the truth may be far more complex than he’d ever imagined!

I wasn’t sure, at first, how quickly I’d get into ‘The Furnace’, but it took no time flat! I was entranced by the mystery, the characters, and the believable science. I love locked-room mysteries; ‘Ten Little Indians/And Then There Were None’ is one of my favorites. The suspense was intense and Tanner’s frustration at the elusive answers was palpable. Each character may not have been given as much back-story as Tanner, but they still made themselves an integral part of the story. I was pleasantly surprised by how everything wrapped up and I greatly enjoyed ‘The Furnace’. It’s a wonderful blend of mystery and hard science. I found it to be a refreshingly different from some of the science fiction I’ve read and I could see it easily translated onto the big screen!


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