Daniel Helmqvist, a PI in Mars’s only city, risks his career and his life to solve two high-stakes cases.


NB: The synopsis lays out the plot in some detail. If you do not wish to know what happens in Transilience, I’d suggest skipping it.

When you’re a private investigator in Mars’s only city, you hope for one—maybe two—cases a month to keep the lights on. But taking on two on the same day? Even for Daniel Helmqvist this might be too much.

The first case involves a company who’s being forced to buy the silence of a couple of guys who found out about their dirty secret of genocide for a higher profit margin. After an encounter with the blackmailers, Helmqvist plants incriminating evidence, framing them for embezzlement, on their computer network and phones the police. The frame job survives the investigation and Helmqvist’s bank accounts receive a sizable boost.

In the second, a mystery blonde claims the existence of a storage device, which implicates the brilliant scientist, Mara Kitterman, in a terrorist plot that killed thousands of people on Earth. Her tall tale seems less crazy when Helmqvist discovers inconsistencies in the bombing investigation. After a daring break-in which nets Helmqvist the wrong storage device, he nearly calls it quits until a tracking device he gave his client locates her in a bad part of town. When he arrives at the scene, Helmqvist finds her in pieces and realizes two things: he had been hired by an android, and the storage device was inside her all along.

While he processes this new information, a masked stranger ambushes him. Before he’s knocked unconscious, Helmqvist manages to rip off his assailant’s mask. The face he sees as the shadows claim him is Kitterman’s dead father, Nolan. When Daniel comes to, he realizes the attack could only mean one thing: he was close to the truth.

In response, Helmqvist surveils Kitterman’s office, waiting for something to happen. A few days later, Helmqvist witnesses an exchange between father and daughter. He pursues Nolan through the city to an airlock where Kitterman plans to make his escape. As the massive door to the hostile Martian landscape opens, Daniel forgoes a misguided attempt to pursue the device, choosing the save himself instead.

The novel ends with Helmqvist receiving a visit from his rebuilt client, who somehow retained memories of her meeting with him. She pays him for his efforts despite his failure and walks out of his life. With both cases closed and even more questions on his mind, Helmqvist heads back to the same dive where it all began to look for answers at the bottom of a highball glass.

Fun facts:

Transilience was conceived in a creative writing course and inspired by the alarming trend of the hate of the other - cleverly disguised as nationalism. It blends elements of classic science-fiction and hard-boiled detective fiction. The novel is finished and awaits the generosity of you to make it a reality.

I have started Book 2 in the series and have one more planned at the moment.

About the Author:

I am a native of Detroit presently living the arboreal splendor of the Swedish hinterlands. When I’m not writing, I enjoy cooking, playing video games and brewing.