ISADORA DAYSTAR by P.I. Barrington is an excellent story about struggling with inner demons and self-redemption, but, instead of being set in a modern world, the author had the great idea to write this drama with a sci-fi theme, which I think readers will appreciate immensely.
Isadora is an unusual choice for a protagonist: she's a former soldier, a drug addict, a thief, and an assassin, who often prostitutes herself to alien species to make ends meet, since she's not very good at killing her marks. Her entire existence is based around her addiction to a drug she encountered during her military service...an utterly pathetic existence at that.
I love the imagery of this futuristic universe, with extremely unusual descriptions of Isadora's main world, Rho (a moon that never sees the light of a sun). Rather than focusing on the technology, Barrington highlights the changes in the social structure of the human race. For example, religion is outlawed, and additional laws had to be enacted regarding sexual contact with other alien races, revealing incredible creativity on the part of the author. Between the various species, interplanetary travel, and new moral codes of the existing human race, the plight of Isadora is enthralling as a deadly bacteria infection causes her to abandon ship.
I recommend this novel to all readers, not just sci-fi fans.