Joe Sault, book II is more than half completed! It should end up being roughly the same length as the previous novel, Wakeless.
I’m currently targeting summer but will be satisfied if I can publish by Christmas. I don’t really have a title yet but the working title (which I hate) is “An Autonomous Goodbye.” That will have to change. And, of course, a real cover is even further away.
Here are some of the elements that I’ve woven into the story, so far…
• Style-wise, still, Michael Crichton meets Michael Connelly; straight-up sci-fi meets police procedural. Again, the mood is plodding but much more is happening around Detective Sault than before. Sault was off duty during most of Wakeless. This novel depicts a much more typical working life with multiple duties and a caseload.
• Sault II carries on from the exact moment Wakeless ends.
• After nearly shattering his life, the Cavallon case seems to be behind him. Sault is happy to still be married, to have earned his Detective shield and to be working far from scrutiny and controversy, under Dennis Hennessey at the Autonomous Droid Unit.
• And yet, he can’t help but be intrigued by cases that are not his and continually battles his obsessive curiosity for fear of repeating the same mistakes that led him astray, the last time.
• Such distractions do not go unnoticed by his new partner and is the source of some friction.
• At last, the effect of the injection that kicked off Wakeless becomes apparent.
• Since freeing the Master AI Module (MAIM) Sault has been worriedly waiting for a sign that the world has changed. And, finally, he may be starting to see evidence.
• Meanwhile, the Royal BC Museum is hosting a recently discovered DaVinci. Security is tight and highly sophisticated and the ADU is asked to maintain a presence.
• A seemingly innocuous prank—swapping cosmetic swarms for cheap knockoffs—has the potential to turn deadly.
• Ana, the Victoria Police Department’s master AI, has her capabilities expanded and Sault is not comfortable with the extent of her new power.
• When a gang war ties up most of the active detectives, Sault is handed his first official homicide case: The body of an indolent construction worker has turned up, stuffed in the trunk of an autonomous car, a hundred miles from home. The list of suspects is small, but given his unsavory past, it looks like the investigation will be short and unsatisfying.
• A visit from the MAIM fills in a few blanks from the past, hints at the future, and prods the detective toward a new mystery.
• At home, Amber and Matthew are growing up too fast for Sault’s liking. Sault’s professional connection to a local VR company has the potential to bring him and his sulky teenaged son (Matthew) closer.
• Sault’s wife’s (Maya) career rebounds when she is offered a position with, Greg Hanover, the man who was once Cavallon’s closest associate, now appointed to dismantle the ill-gotten empire. Maya makes Sault swear that he will stay far away from any case that arises and involves Hanover.
• A serial killer is in the mix.
• Unknown to Detective Sault, Cavallon’s influence over his life is not quite over…