This is a good, but short book. I would almost say that it is more of a short-story than a real book, but you do get a good science fiction read.
It takes place on Mars. Humans have colonized the surface and underground of Mars. We have three colonies now established under very secure domes. Two of the colonies have multiple domes and are thriving. The third colony, New Meridian has recently started and is now looking to expand. The colonist are allowed to settle outside the central dome in their own dome structures as long as they maintain a perimeter fence. Most of these settlers are farmers growing hydroponic gardens below the surface of Mars.
Since humans have been on Mars for years, they have encountered nothing. No living thing appears to be on Mars. It is a dead planet, or so it seems. Then the expected happens. If you’re an avid science fiction reader, you already know the entire plot of the story. The central character is Captain Archard Rahn, United Nations Interplanetary Corps. His character and most of the others are not developed to a great extent since the book is so short. We just know he’s got a boring job protecting the colonist from what appears at first to be nothing. All the colonist are highly screened prior to getting assigned to Mars so crime is not existent.
Then as farmer and his wife realize their son is missing. They go to find him and that’s when Captain Rahn and his troops are called out. They find the child. He’s in the hydroponics garden holding his mother’s head. You gotta’ read the rest to find out what happens now.