Covert agent Sigmund Ausfaller is Earth's secret weapon, humanity's best defense against all conspiracies, real and imaginary, and all foes both human and alien. Who better than a brilliant paranoid to expose the devious plots of others?
But Sigmund may finally have met his match in Nessus, representative of the secretive Puppeteers, the elder race who wield vastly superior technologies. Even after the Puppeteers abruptly vanish from Known Space, Nessus schemes in the shadows with Earth's traitors and adversaries.
As a paranoid, Sigmund has always known things would end horribly for him; only the when, where, how, why, and by whom of it all eluded him. But even Sigmund never imagined that his destiny would be entwined with the fates of worlds...
"[Niven and Lerner] clearly enjoy revisiting aliens familiar from Niven's menagerie while spinning an elaborate tale of interplanetary intrigue. Their many fans will, too." (
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Really good use of the existing lore
- Ian Warrender