The Hidden Family ) finds 33-year-old Boston journalist Miriam Beckstein stil"/>

The Clan Corporate: Book Three of the Merchant Princes

Charles Stross, Author . Tor $24.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-7653-0930-3

Stross's lively third volume in his Merchant Princes SF series (after 2005's The Hidden Family ) finds 33-year-old Boston journalist Miriam Beckstein still caught in a "barely post-feudal" alternate world where she's part of a mafiosa-like family called "the Clan." The Clan is holding Miriam's mother hostage in an effort to force the reluctant, thoroughly modern Miriam to make a politically advantageous marriage. Also dragged into deadly Clan politics is Miriam's ex-boyfriend, Mike Fleming, a DEA agent who has infiltrated Miriam's world on the orders of Homeland Security. Miriam's foolish, headstrong decisions help propel the fast-paced plot. Mike's discovery that the Clan may have planted nuclear weapons on our world raises the ante. While Miriam can be frustratingly dense, playing right into her captors' hands, the book gallops along to a cliffhanger ending that will leave readers eagerly awaiting future installments. (May)

Reviewed on: 03/20/2006
Release date: 05/01/2006
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