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Code Of Conduct
Code of Conduct is Kristine Smith’s debut novel. Mixing adventure and
politics, Smith tells the story of Jani Killian, a former soldier who has lived
incognito for nearly twenty years since shooting her commanding officer when he
tried to enforce an illegal order. While many believe Jani was killed in a fiery
crash shortly after that incident, portions of the Commonwealth’s government
believes she may still be alive. The alien idomeni, in whose culture Jani was a
specialist, also believe she may still be active. As the novel opens, the
Commonwealth Interior Minister, Evan van Richter, a former lover and comrade in
arms, manages to find Jani and offer her protection if she’ll help him
discover the truth behind his wife’s recent death. Skeptical at first, Jani
agrees to leave her haven on the world Whalen and travel to the capital of the
Commonwealth, Chicago, where she becomes involved in the intricate politics
within the government as well as with the idomeni ambassador, Jani’s former
mentor among the aliens. The politics surrounding Lyssa van Richter’s death
are Byzantine, made more so when Jani’s research begins to indicate that the
crash which almost killed her nearly two decades earlier may have been linked to
the death she’s currently examining. While doing her research, Jani must
carefully guard her identity, especially when she is kidnapped by a rival
minister who is intent on destroying van Richter and capturing the Jani Killian
who possibly died in the crash. Code of Conduct is clearly a first novel and
shows the potential Smith has to become a major author. The plot is complex, but
Smith manages to keep the various threads orderly. Most impressive of all are
the ideas which are touched upon but not fully explored, leaving Smith plenty of
material for future works.
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