I’ve just finished the first draft of my tenth novel, the opening installment of a new series I’ve decided to call Quis Custodiet, taken from the Latin Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes, which means “Who will guard the guards themselves?” It’s a question attributed to the Roman poet Juvenal in his work Satires, and is nowadays used generally to consider the embodiment of the philosophical question as to how power can be held to account.
This new series is a spin off from Decker’s War and features Commonwealth Constabulary Chief Superintendent Caelin Morrow, the head of the Rim Sector’s Professional Compliance Bureau (PCB). The PCB is the Constabulary’s internal affairs branch, handles Armed Services cases requiring outside investigators, and takes care of political corruption matters that can’t be entrusted to regular law enforcement agencies. No one likes the PCB, which is also known, for obvious reasons, as the “Firing Squad,” but everyone knows they’re the last of the incorruptibles. When the PCB charges people, you can be sure they’re guilty and when they clear you, no one will doubt your innocence.
This is not military science-fiction, but a police procedural/murder mystery series set in the 26th century. However, Morrow and her investigators will often find themselves embroiled in matters involving the politics surrounding the Commonwealth Armed Services, including Decker and Talyn’s own branch, Naval Intelligence. The first installment, which I’ve now titled The Warrior’s Knife, occurs in parallel to the Decker’s War story Howling Stars and features a guest appearance by Commander Hera Talyn, operating without her usual partner Zack Decker, as the prime suspect in the murder of a trade envoy from the alien Shrehari Empire. Before long Chief Superintendent Morrow will find herself pulled into the murky universe of covert operations where Talyn’s ruthlessness and dedication to the Fleet reign supreme. Needless to say, the conflict between PCB incorruptibility and Naval Intelligence’s views that the ends often justify the means will be most interesting.
In a departure from my nine previous novels, this one is written in the first person, meaning the entire story is told by Caelin Morrow herself.
As usual, the first draft is about to undergo a stringent revision before landing on my editor’s desk, so don’t expect to see it before some time in November, likely later in the month rather than earlier.
I’ve not neglected Siobhan Dunmoore. Outlining of Without Mercy is almost done, and I will be working on the first draft shortly, though I don’t see it hitting the virtual bookshelves before 2018.