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Reviewed by Charles Remington for Readers' Favorite
Ben Harris is a local handyman based in Southern California. He leads a quiet life tackling general repairs and maintenance, accompanied by his dog, Tilley. He is slowly coming to terms with his sister’s death and the subsequent disappearance of her husband, Ben’s close personal friend, Roger Keswick, just before her funeral. The Eve Project: Machines of the Little People by Tegon Maus tells how Ben’s life is suddenly thrown into chaos when, driving past what was his sister’s house, he finds Roger back in residence with a new wife. Roger is different, however. Always a little odd, a veritable genius with his mind skirting the very edge of sanity, he is now obsessed with invisible folk he calls the Katoy. He claims they are spying on him and he can hear their machines under his house.
So begins a chaotic adventure with events quickly taking a sinister turn when Roger’s new wife is found murdered, and when Ben starts to question his own sanity as small people operating a large machine materialise through the walls of his house. Roger disappears once more and, as a result, becomes the prime suspect for his wife’s murder. Ben, however, cannot believe that his friend is capable of such an act. Teaming up with Roger’s sister, Audry, he sets out to find his eccentric friend and discover the truth. But there are other interests at play, among them government agencies for whom Roger had been working. Who are the Katoy? Why is the government involved? Where is Roger and are he and Audry really related? As Ben sinks ever deeper into a maelstrom of intrigue and obfuscation, can a simple handyman get to the bottom of what is proving to be a very deep can of worms?
The Eve Project: Machines of the Little People is the first book in a new series by Tegon Maus. It is not the sort of sci-fi story which takes place in a faraway galaxy - rather, it is played out in a Californian domestic setting, the sort of setting one would often come across in programmes like The Twilight Zone. Ben and his dog, Tilley, are charming characters and the distracted, barely coherent Roger is a passable, if borderline genius. In the main, the characters are the sort of folk one might meet every day, recognisable and well-drawn. The plot, if sometimes a little obscure, moves at a brisk pace to a satisfactory conclusion. It will be interesting to see how this series progresses and what Mr Maus makes of the Katoy.