"When I was fourteen, a cousin of mine angered a Malignant One." Ellen Pierson's cousin Paul brings his problem and his fear to Ellen, and Ellen turns to famed investigator Alison Birkett for help. For these two novellas, Temporary Agency
and Benign Adjustments
, Pollack returns to the Living World. In Unquenchable Fire
a character says that "there are only two things in the world. Suffering and ecstasy." Here, Pollack explores this theme in a fast-paced, moving story as Ellen, Paul and Alison unwrap first a conspiracy of evil and then one of misguided good.
From Publishers Weekly
Pollack's latest presumes knowledge of its prequel, Unquenchable Fire, in which entities known as Bright Beings, Malignant Ones and Benign Ones actively participate in human affairs. In any case, this is a first-rate work, comprised of two related novellas. The title entry introduces narrator Ellen Pierson, whose cousin Paul Cabot unwittingly becomes involved with a Malignant One named Lisa Black Dust 7 (who runs a temp agency). Paul's travails lead the adolescent Ellen and her family to enlist the aid of lawyer Alison Birkett, who attempts to restore peace to Paul's life. Ellen and Alison uncover Grand Conspiracies, and Ellen discovers what people will do in the name of pragmatism. In the next story, "Benign Adjustments," Alison and Ellen, who's now an adult, are paired again, to protect Alexander Timmerman, who, aided by three Benign Ones, espouses peace, love and reform of the financial system. The latter preachment leads to trouble, including a scene on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange graphic enough for the most avid action-adventure fan, but the heart of the novella examines how the most benign intentions can be adulterated by human frailties. Pollack is primarily concerned with the character and basic emotional underpinnings of the people in her future society-and, by extension-in our own. The two novellas combine into a consistently rational framework while never forgetting that the key to good fiction is people and what happens to them.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.