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Eric Matheson, an idealistic rookie cop trying to break from his powerful family, is plunged into the investigation of a brutal crime in his first weeks on the job in Angra Dastrelas, the corrupt capital city of the corporate-owned planet Gattis. A newcomer to the planet, Matheson is unaware of the danger he’s courting when he’s promoted in the field to assist the controversial Chief Investigating Forensic Officer, Inspector J. P. Dillal, the planet’s first cybernetically enhanced investigator. Coming from a despised ethnic underclass, the brilliant and secretive Dillal seems determined to unravel the crime regardless of the consequences. The deeper they dig, the more dangerous the investigation becomes. But in a system where the cops enforce corporate will, instead of the law, the solution could expose Gattis’s most shocking secrets and cost thousands of lives–including Matheson’s and Dillal’s.

Bestselling author K.R. Richardson spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing his latest thriller, BLOOD ORBIT:

What do you hope readers will take away from this book?

I hope they will feel utterly compelled to read all the way to the end, staying up all night if necessary, and close the book feeling like they’ve been punched in the gut, questioning the mechanisms and assumptions of their society.

How does this book make a contribution to the genre?

It balances on the line between SF and Mystery/Thriller/Crime, unable to tell the story without both genre’s influences so it expands the genre’s scope by utilizing Science Fiction settings and tropes without discarding the essential structure and goal of thrillers, mysteries, and suspense.

Was there anything new you discovered, or that surprised you, as you wrote this book?

I discovered that I have a high tolerance for rejection. Also, you can purchase a lot of “bullshittium” from seedy little men in trench coats hanging around at literary conventions.

No spoilers, but what can you tell us about your book that we won’t find in the jacket copy or the PR material?

It was inspired by a real-life crime.

What authors or books have influenced your career as a writer, and why?

Hammett, Chandler, and Jane Austen. That last may surprise, but aside from each having a unique way with words, they were all keen observers of human frailty, social hypocrisy, and self-delusion, and portrayed it in their writing. There’s a fine line for writers to walk in exposing humanity’s worst impulses by compelling language without alienating their readers.


K. R. Richardson is a bestselling Washington-based writer and editor of science fiction, crime, mystery, and fantasy. A former journalist with publications on topics from technology, software, and security, to history, health, and precious metals, Richardson is also a lifelong fan of crime and mystery fiction, and films noir. When not writing or researching, the author may be found loafing about with dogs, riding motorcycles, shooting, or dabbling with paper automata.