Review by amselbird *****
When I first saw the name D-PAK, I thought this was some kind of a sequel to the movie with Kevin Spacey. Then I realized that it was actually the name of the author. The actual title of the book – EVEN PEONS ARE PEOPLE is certainly captivating: an assertion of the essential inherent worth of every person and thus of the values of any decent society. In the context of this story, it has to do with the fact that a man at the bottom of the food chain in this futuristic society is on trial for capital murder and finds that all that stands between him and the death penalty is a young lawyer whose enthusiasm is not not dampened by his lack of experience.
The plot of the book concerns the effort of the dedicated young defense lawyer to save his “space hobo” client from the death penalty after the client killed someone in a typically science fiction way. Although the crime itself is pretty clear-cut, a great deal of mystery surrounds the why and the wherefore. There are also the kind of political shenanigans that we would expect from a John Grisham, but played out in an environment more worthy of Robert Heinlein.
Notwithstanding the unusual method of murder at the beginning of the book, I’m sure that this story could have been told with a contemporary setting – or even an historical one. But that is the point about good stories – they are timeless.
All in all I enjoyed it and would recommend it.