I read this book about 16-May-2004. I've read this book before. The book is copyright 1985. This note was last modified Monday, 19-May-2014 16:34:15 PDT.
This is book 10 of the "Family D'Alembert" series.
This note contains spoilers for the book.
Last of the Family D'Alembert books, written by Stephen Goldin. This would seem to bring things to a crashing conclusion.
My suspicions about the computer, the PCC specifically, have been confirmed before page 100. The Empress has authorized taking action that will nearly destroy the empire, based on merely circumstancial evidence. And they're off!
Looks like their first task is to smuggle weapons into the security zone. They're using the standard method -- bringing bits and pieces that aren't suspicious, but which they can build weapons from. (The other standard trick, having others plant the weapons in advance, was used in Appointment At Bloodstar by the bad guys. I think most people have never even heard of this approach, though it's had some press coverage since 9/11/2001.)
But why in the hell do they devote a huge number of pages to recapping the previous 9 books? This is the climax of a series, the only edition ever published says "#10" in large letters on the front cover, nobody in their right mind is going to read this one first.
They pretty much do destroy the empire in order to save it. They have to recreate the economic system and even the division of property from scratch, change the currency. And then they have to take care of this new system without having a supercomputer in the center monitoring everything. It'll sure be exciting.