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Mel Keegan Wing

Mel Keegan's "Death's Head" cover art and link to the Keegan website.

NARC # 1 Deathís Head by Mel Keegan Review by Mountman/Joe Wright

   Deathís Head was first released in 1991. It has been re-released in 2004, complete, unabridged, and uncut. The only thing that is different is that Mel has updated certain technical elements. I first heard of Mel Keegan in 1994, when a friend gave me a copy of NARC # 2, Equinox. I wrote Mel through his publisher, Dreamcraft, to tell them that I was going to review it. They were kind enough to send me Deathís Head to review. I would first like to thank them. I would also like to tell you that I decided to review them in order.

    Now, on with the review. Reading Deathís Head was like reading a flashback of old 

friends, Jarrat and Stone and how they became lovers. If you are a Sci-Fi fan this is a must read. Jarrat and Stone are co-captains on the space-carrier Athena. NARC stands for Narcotics And Riot Control. The Narcotic that they have a drug war against is Angel. Angel is a drug that will kill you within a year or two. Itís like a sexual trip. Once itís got you, youíll do anything for it. And I mean anything. Does this sound familiar?

     In Melís world, same-sex relationships are treated, as they should be in real life, Accepted and Natural. Jarrat and Stone have been working together for the past 2 years. NARC has rules about two officers having an intimate relationship. Both Jarrat and Stone have kept their relationship as professional as they could. That is, until the drug war takes them to Chell, a piece of rock in space that humans colonized years ago to mine the planet.

     As our story opens, there is a syndicate that runs the Angel business. And Jarrat is in the heart of it; he is undercover, acting as a king shooter for the syndicate boss Hal Mavik, while Stone is on the Athena supervising the operation.

     Jarrat makes a grave mistake and is almost killed. He is saved by Evelyn and her brother Simon. After shopping Evelyn and Simon come upon the battered body of Jarrat, who is more than half dead. Much to Simonís dismay, Evelyn decides to help this stranger. Why, because, ten years ago she and Simon lost their brother to Angel. They take Jarrat to a Dr. friend of Evelynís. He does a lot of repair work on Jarrat but he is still in danger. His brain is terribly damaged. The only thing that she knows to do is take this stranger to another Dr. friend of hers, Harry Del. Harry is considered a queer. Harry is human in every way, but he is a mutant that has special abilities. He can go into a personís mind and repair damages.

    Stone goes against all training and when Jarrat disappears, Stone goes after him, all across Chell.

    Well, I think I have given you enough to intrigue you. One thing that I have to say is that I like the way Mel shows that after Same-sex couples are no longer treated as queers, society finds another difference in people to ostracize. Buy the book, you wonít be disappointed!

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