This is book three of the five-book Robot series. I read this after reading The Caves of Steel by Isaac Asmiov, 1950. This is the third book in the Robot series. The events in this book happen after The Caves of Steel.
Elijah Bailey, the Earthman is turning out to be quite the space detective. Following the success of his murder investigation of a Spacer, he is pulled into another one. While the first murder was in Spaceport on earth, this murder is on a far off planet Solaria. While Earth has a population of billions, Solaria only has 20,000 people living on it.
Elijah travels to Solaria with a hyperspace jump. This is his first space jump. This technique is commonplace in Asmiov’s Foundation series novels. He has his share of phobias with air travel and open spaces.
Solaria is the most advanced of the fifty new worlds outside earth. They have the most specialized robots. The robot to human ratio is 10,000:1. Solarians live like hermits isolated in their estates. Foundation and Earth by Isaac Asimov, 1986 has a part on Solaria. It is fascinating to see how Asimov extrapolated all the characteristics of Solarians. He does this 20,000 years into the future in Foundation and Earth.
What starts off as a straightforward murder investigation ends up having a lot of twists. This book has its shares of conspiracy theories and a large cast of characters. This is unlike The Caves of Steel with only a handful of characters.
What I liked better than the whodunnit is Asmiov’s thoughtful philosophy. It is crazy how he can do this on a set of people with a completely different value system. He describes the difference between being logical vs reasonable.
Of course, the robot R. Daneel Olivaw is again his partner. Elijah acts as a petulant child in this book. The calm logical reasoning of Daneel is a breath of fresh air.
This is another of Asimov’s page turner. Its a quick read that you could finish over a weekend or so.