A top government investigator is sent to check out a suspicious, interstellar business deal. Cryoburn is a later science fiction novel in Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosiverse series.
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Imperial Auditor Miles Vorkosigan is sent to the planet Kibou-daini to investigate White Chrysanthemum, one of a handful of major corporations ("cryocorp") providing cryogenic freezing for dying or ill people. The company is seeking to expand to the planet Komarr, part of the Barrayaran Empire to which Miles is a prominent member. He and some other conference attendees are kidnapped by a political group. He escapes when a sedative he is given triggers an abnormal reaction, making him manic and seeing hallucinations. A teenage boy named Jin Sato provides him with shelter while he recovers from the drug's effects.
Jin's mother, a peaceful political activist, was frozen eighteen months ago on trumped up criminal charges before she could publicly expose a major problem - a chemical used for a while in the cryogenic process breaks down after thirty years, making it impossible to properly revive people treated with it. Miles (illegally) rescues her and has her revived. As it turns out though, White Chrysanthemum is not involved in this coverup.
Miles learns that the cryocorps are given the votes of their customers. This wasn't a serious problem in the past, but the consolidation of hundreds of companies into a small number of powerful corporations concentrated power in a few hands, subverting the entire political system. Miles is sure that White Chrysanthemum wants to repeat this process on Komarr. Miles alerts his government, averting the danger.
Best part of story, including ending:
This is the only story in the series in which Miles Vorkosigan is the protagonist that I didn't love in the least. The evil businessmen don't make interesting enemies, particularly when they appear only briefly now and then. The two mutually exclusive, unrelated crimes also clash with each other.
Best scene in story:
When Miles is on a space station preparing to leave the planet and return home, he receives some heartbreaking news. This is about the only part of the novel that is at all memorable.
Opinion about the main character:
Miles is his usual, interestingly hyperactive self, but unfortunately, his talent for mayhem is barely put to the test by the feeble, boring opposition.