My name is Caelin Morrow, and I’m one of the most hated cops in the Rim Sector.
I work for a branch of the Commonwealth Constabulary, humanity’s interstellar police force, called the Professional Compliance Bureau. We’re the Commonwealth government’s internal affairs division and hunt down bent cops, corrupt officials, and misbehaving military personnel. My fellow Constabulary members neither like nor trust me, but that’s okay. I enjoy taking out the trash.
When a senior navy officer is accused of murdering an envoy from the Shrehari Empire on Aquilonia Station, a human trading post on an airless moon, everyone fears it might shatter the peace with our restive neighbor. That makes it a case for my unit because we’re known by humans and Shrehari alike as the last of the incorruptibles, the ones unafraid of digging up the truth.
Since I’m the chief superintendent commanding the Rim Sector PCB Detachment, I only handle extremely sensitive cases myself. Yet this one could quickly become the trickiest of my career. The Shrehari are a touchy species and would consider a mishandled inquiry, or worse a coverup, sufficient cause to sever diplomatic links with the Commonwealth. Yet whenever I investigate a case involving the military, I always wonder if something other than one of the seven deadly sins is involved.
Was the envoy’s death an act of passion or an act of interstellar politics?
Chief Superintendent Caelin Morrow of the Commonwealth Constabulary is the most hated cop in the entire Rim Sector. And with excellent reason. She heads the Sector’s Professional Compliance Bureau, which hunts for corrupt Commonwealth officials, whether they’re police officers, members of the military, judges, bureaucrats, and even colonial governors. Her unit also investigates Constabulary officers destined for senior appointments, to make sure they’re not hiding a propensity for taking bribes, abusing their powers, or worse.When Mission Colony’s governor complains about the man recently appointed as head of her star system’s Constabulary unit, Deputy Chief Constable Maras turns to Caelin Morrow because something doesn’t smell right. Morrow had vetted Assistant Commissioner Braband less than a year earlier, and he came up squeaky clean. Honest cops don’t go bad in the space of a few months.But within hours of landing on Mission Colony, Morrow and her team must take charge of a murder investigation before a precarious situation spirals out of control. The case, involving the star system’s leading citizens and highest officials, will lead them into the rotten heart of colonial darkness. There, corruption, organized crime, and espionage combine in a deadly brew that threatens not only Morrow’s very existence but the political stability of an entire sector.
Investigating war crimes isn’t Assistant Commissioner Caelin Morrow’s usual sort of case. She normally hunts down corrupt Commonwealth officials. But with the reorganization of the Professional Compliance Bureau’s Anti-Corruption Division, Morrow inherits primary responsibility for military crimes requiring outside scrutiny. And for her first case as the new head of Anti-Corruption Unit 12 (Military Crimes), she’s heading for the Novaya Sibir star system with her team to look into allegations the elite 212th Pathfinder Squadron committed atrocities on a Protectorate Zone rogue colony. But all is not as it seems, and dirty politics soon rear their ugly head. Unfortunately for those who play fast and loose with the truth, Caelin Morrow is not only a superb investigator. She’ll also do whatever is necessary to take out the garbage.