The Caline Conspiracy by M.H. MeadMy rating: Sci-Fi Thriller
The Caline Conspiracy is a gripping, fast-moving thriller set in the near future, following a few advances in genetic engineering. While genetic advances are used to produce "perfect" pets, legislation in the US has barred any further work on the human genome. A man is found murdered, apparently by his caline (a genetically-engineered pet), and PI Aidra is called in to try and clear the creature's name.
There were several things introduced but never fully explained, or which didn't seem to tie in with the main plot. I don't want to introduce any spoilers, but in particular, the scenes with Edo and the perficats seemed unnecessary, and the caline's reaction to the perficats was never explained. Similarly, the CAGER thugs were very threatening to Aidra, but then disappeared entirely from the plot. I would also have liked to see more detail on the genetic engineering.
Despite these reservations, I enjoyed the story and read it very quickly. Aidra is a determined investigator, if a somewhat hapless mother, and I liked the shadowy figure of Morris who helps her from behind a screen.