My recent reading has included Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corry.
Leviathan Wakes is the first in a series set in a future that Earth has colonized Mars, the outer planet moons and the asteroid belt. Earth and Mars are the economic powers while the Outer Belt is the upstart economy. Economic tensions exist between the three powers. Detective Miller is given a throw away assignment to find a missing girl. Jim Holden, executive officer of a tramp hauler, becomes captain of Martian corvette after the hauler is blown up in a surprise attack. As each man figures out what is happening, an alien virus is discovered and it is being used as a weapon in a war Holden may have started.
About the authors
James S.A. Corry is the pen name of Danial Abraham and Ty Franck. Abraham is a novelist of his own and has collaborated with George R.R. Martin. Ty Franck is an assistant for Martin. Here is a link to their website. James S. A. Corry
This is one of the best new SF books I have read in a long time. The hard science is strong enough to keep it feeling real. The political landscape they created makes the story interesting and the tinderbox war created seem believable. The writing reminded me of “The Maltese Falcon” and that was by intent. The authors consciously created a “Noir” mood in the novel, especially around Detective Miller (he drinks too much, he is close to being fired, he bends the rules) and the Asteroid belt (think “Blade Runner” but dirtier and meaner). Holden’s role was also cliché’, the aging naval officer who never lived up to expectations. His first major decision results in interplanetary war. But it works and it works well. The writing and description are tight. The heroes are clearly flawed and not always successful. And you still cheer them on. I’ve finished the second book in the series and that book had the first laugh out lines I had read in months. (a review of that will show up soon.)