Captain Jean-Luc Picard has long enjoyed playing the part of Dixon Hill, a hard-boiled private eye straight out of American pulpfiction. His holographic excursions into 1940s San Francisco, a colorful world of gunplay and gangsters, provide a welcome diversion from his hefty responsibilities as a Starfleet captain.
But not this time.
The Starship Enterprise has lost power and control, its own momentum carrying it ever deeper into a dangerous zone of warped space and time. And the only way out is hidden somewhere in the mean streets and back alleys of old Frisco. But so is a cold-blooded murderer....
Now Dixon Hill, alias Jean-Luc Picard, must get to the bottom of a tangled mystery that threatens the lives of everyone aboard the Enterprise !
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Pocket Books/Star Trek
March 01, 2002
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Adobe DRM EPUB
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Excerpt from A Hard Rain by Dean Wesley Smith
A Hardboiled Life in the City
Section One: On the Hunt
It was raining in the city by the bay. A hard rain. Hard enough to wash the slime out of the streets.
Dixon Hill thought back over the words of his friend, Mr. Data, as the radiator behind him cracked and popped. It fought the valiant battle to keep the cold and damp out of his office. It usually lost.
Beyond the single pane window the deep sounds of a far-off ship's horn echoed through the fog and rain, crying out like a lost animal in the night.
He listened. Many days he had just sat, feet up on his desk, and listened to that deep, mournful sound. Now it faded, replaced by the honking of cars and swishing of tires on the wet pavement of the street below. He loved the city, every rotten, lustful, dark thing about it.
But right now he wished he could make the whole stinking place just go away.
Dixon Hill sighed and listened as the ship's horn again moaned its plaintive cry. So far he had been lucky in this world. He doubted his luck was going to hold.
He nestled his gray fedora tight on his head, straightened his tie, and pulled the collar of his tan raincoat up around his neck. Then he touched the scarred top of the single wood desk that commanded the room. The empty, wooden chair behind the desk sat with its back to the city, seeming to say that nothing out there meant anything.
But that wasn't true.
The city demanded attention, taking what it could like a hungry beast always searching for food. He had still not finished one case, had not managed to put the creep who had killed Marci Andrews behind bars where he belonged. She had been a great actress, and was gunned down at her stage door, and Dixon Hill had wanted to find her killer.