This is a story I remember picking up at the library and reading sometime in the last decade (probably around 2015, so unfortunately the timeframe won't help much). It was in the USA in English and it was paperback. The plot looks something like this:

The story starts off with someone (I think a woman, let's just call her "Person A") being taken prisoner after murdering the crew of what I think was a "space yacht". Person A is taken prisoner on a moon colony and is being transported somewhere in a flying car, when she manages to break out and escape. This is where the details get a bit fuzzy. I think she manages to hire some sort of private investigator/mercenary to protect her from being imprisoned. Meanwhile, the detective who's been assigned to the case manages to hack into the systems on the space yacht and gathers some evidence. We later learn that Person A was wanted for some crime (I think aliens were looking for her), and hired some people to give her a new identity as a textile worker on Mars and smuggle her off Earth. Once she was on the space yacht, she learned that the smugglers were actually going to sell her out to the aliens, so she murders the crew in an attempt to escape. One of the last things in the book was that the detective guy quits his job with the police and offers to take over the agency run by the private investigator/mercenary (they were friends I think).

There was also a plot where someone (possibly the escaped prisoner, although I'm unable to convince myself entirely that they are the same person) talks to a lawyer to try and help them out. I think the lawyer is hesitant, as the aliens that are looking for her (I think they were called wiglins) have a rather strict legal system, and according to him, "nobody has managed to challenge a wiglin warrant in over 70 years."

Some other random details I remember.

  • There's a flashback scene where we get to see the life of Person A on Earth shortly before she escapes. She's rich and has a large mansion, in contrast to the new identity and job she's escaping to.
  • The detective who's investigating the murders mentions that he used to be quite good at hacking, and although he hasn't been as involved for a while, the systems of the space yacht were rudimentary/old enough that he could get into them.
  • While Person A is being transported on the moon and preparing her escape, she has a thought about how the technology on the moon is quite old, and they're still using the cars she grew up with on Earth. This is why she knows the way to escape from the car. There's also a mention about how the officer transporting her is flying manually, which is uncommon, and how it's causing some issues with the traffic control system that automatically flies most people's cars.
  • There's a line that the lawyer says, which is something along the lines of "When I first started as a lawyer, I took any case I could get. Afterwards, I only took cases that would enrich my pocketbook. Now, I only take cases that challenge my mind."
  • I believe the book ended on a bit of a cliffhanger (I don't think the legal matters were ever really resolved) and it seemed to suggest that there was a sequel, although I never read one for it.

I have no clue why I remember this book, it was basically in the back corner of the library and I read it because I didn't have much else to do.

  • Honorable mention for Caliban's War, the second book of The Expanse franchise, and featuring many similar elements (although probably not the book Xav101's book).
    – Lexible
    Commented Jun 22, 2020 at 1:25

1 Answer 1


The Disappeared by Kristine Kathryn Rusch (2012)

Snippet of the synopsis: "Now three cases have collided: a stolen spaceyacht filled with dead bodies, two kidnapped human children, and a human woman on the run, trying to Disappear to avoid alien prosecution."

Below are quotes from the book that match what you've described:

new identity as a textile worker

With a sigh, Ekaterina shifted position, and continued to read. Her new job was recycling textiles.

on Mars

The map function. She typed in Von and added that it had to be in territory that could be occupied by humans. She only got one hit.

It was on Mars.

nobody has managed to challenge a wiglin warrant in over 70 years.

He knew from his studies that no Wygnin warrant had been successfully challenged in the last fifty years.

She's rich and has a large mansion

Ekaterina Maakestad stood in the bedroom of her Queen Anne home, the ancient Victorian houses of San Francisco’s oldest section visible through her vintage windows, and clutched her hands together."

Covers of the book:

Cover 1 Cover 2

  • 1
    If you want a more advanced tip see this meta answer, it also links to a post with all the supported modifiers if you're interested. And FWIW if you put the images on the same line they'll show up side by side if there's room but that's more of a personal stylistic choice.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Commented Jun 22, 2020 at 16:11

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