by Spider Robinson
Copyright 1996, 212 pp
This story begins several months after the last story. Jake apparently convinced his new love, Zoey, to remain with him and she’s now very, very pregnant. Jake warns the reader that the bar’s doom is coming, but it’s unclear until the end exactly just what is the doom. Especially since most of the book is about an impending alien invasion but I’m getting ahead of the story.
As usual, the bar has attracted two new customers and the level of weirdness seems to accelerate…as usual. Nicky Tesla shows up and Spider does indulge in a bit of exposition to bring us all up to speed on what happened to Tesla and where’s he’s been all these years but I forgive him. It was fun and tantalizing. And about halfway through the story, Mary and Mickey Finn drop in. Of course, in usual Callahan style, it wasn’t exactly a nice drop-by visit, but more of two bodies dropping through the roof unconscious. And then we really get rolling when Mary tells everyone that they tried to rifle the files of The Beast (who was destroyed by the nuke in the last book) in order to save Finn’s people but were ambushed by another of The Beast’s assassins. And said assassin is on his way to Earth.
This was a pretty exciting story albeit quiet and contemplative because you see, the gang realized the only way to stop the alien assassin was to get telepathic again. The problem was, nobody was really sure how to do it.
We were treated to several revealing ‘origin’ stories; that is, how some of the regulars came to Callahans. And that was a lot of fun. There is a very satisfying conclusion even though it meant the bar’s doom. Nuff said. ~~ Catherine Book
BONUS FOR EVERYONE WHO READ THIS FAR: When I’m done reviewing the whole series, there will be a Trivia Contest and the winner will win my whole Callahan collection. Stay tuned…