This book is both a sci-fi and murder mystery in one. While it took a little work to get through the first few pages which set up the story line, I was engrossed from that point on.
As the story starts, humanity has just joined a galactic civilization where there is a pecking order to each species based on when they were "uplifted" by genetic manipulation and by whom and how many "client" species they have uplifted as a "patron". Each uplifted species is indentured to their patron species for 1,000 years. Humanity is in the enviable and highly unusual position of having been abandoned by their patron species and, as a young "wofling" race, already uplifted 2 other species. All this started with the "progenitors" millennia ago.
The story follows Jaacob Demwa as he is asked to join the Sundiver project, which is studying the sun by sending manned craft in to the upper chromosphere. And "ghosts" have been discovered living in the sun. Many wonder if the Solarians are mankind's long lost patrons.
Then the unimaginable happens and a craft manned by an uplifted chimp, one of mankind's client species, is apparently destroyed by the Solarians.
Thus ensues a great sci-fi murder mystery set in David Brin's Uplift universe with intrigue and politics on an enormous scale. This is a great story with great characters and I can't wait to read the other books in the series.