is a 1976 science fiction
novel written by E.E. “Doc” Smith
and Stephen Goldin
, the second book in the Family D'Alembert
This is the second in a series of ten Family D'Alembert novels. Set in a future where humankind has expanded to the stars but reverted to an old-style feudal system of government in an advanced technological setting, all known planets and space are ruled by an Earth based Empire.
Jules and Yvette D'Alambert are a brother and sister team of aerialists in the D'Alambert family Circus of the Empire
. But they are also legendary agents "Wombat" and "Periwinkle" in SOTE
, "The Service of The Empire", the imperial intelligence agency, sent to investigate the disappearance of a planetary economist and his wife on a moon devoted to recreation: seemingly a vacationers' paradise...
The plot is based in part on Thuggee.