The Gates of Eden - Brian Stableford - 1983 Douglas Chaffee Cover

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Blurb: “Despite the development of a faster-than-light drive, Earth’s space program has been in the doldrums for centuries, as has Earth itself. Hyperspace being impossible to navigate without beacons at which to aim, there is no alternative but to wait for vessels sent out at sub-light speed decades previously to find somewhere worth going.

Unfortunately, when a worthwhile planet finally turns up, it doesn’t take long for political conflicts to materialize over its exploitation. Then, when an entire survey team perishes, the problems intensify.

Lee Caretta is the man most likely to solve the problem—if his conflict-ridden employers will let him, if he can keep his tendencey to suffer unexplained blackouts under control, and if the world really is sufficiently Earth-like not to be deadly to the explorers.

And then the humans begin to die once more!”