Growing up, I devoured science fiction stories written in the 1950s and 1960s. Many of these stories featured a fairly stagnant civilization, where individuals were very comfortable, but passive. Only "scoundrels" who operated at the fringes of society had the necessary skills to cope with threats, such as alien invasions and Russian or Chinese socialist plots.
The introduction of Murdock was clumsy: I would have preferred an extra page or two to introduce the character. The pace was quick, with plenty of action. The anti-Russian / Cold War tone was not a problem for me: it was typical of much of the fiction at the time.
Equal rights for women? Women were ignored in stories such as these, or were minor characters or waiting wide-eyed at home for their men. And as a woman, I am not offended: again, it was typical of the fiction at that time. (One of the reasons I love Robert Heinlein stories: his women worked alongside their men and were competent
I am glad I read the story, and plan to download the Baen version to read Galactic Derelict
. I will not pursue the stories after that.
Thanks for taking me down memory lane!