Red Delicious - Kathleen Tierney (Caitlin R. Kiernan)
Kathleen Tierney (Caitlin R. Kiernan)
Quinn (do NOT call her Siobhan) has had a rough year. She went from a heroin-addicted runaway to being Twice Dead, or Twice Damned. That’s because, after accidentally offing a couple of supernatural beasties, she was bitten by both a vampire and a werewolf, giving her the best of both worlds, so to speak. That little party was six months ago, and she’s dealing with it. She does odd jobs for a fixer who calls himself Mr. B. These jobs almost always have something to do with the supernatural world and its denizens. And they almost always involve severe personal risk, even to someone who’s already dead. Twice.
This fine day (check all your previously-known vampire facts at the door) Mr. B has another job for Quinn. It seems that a teenaged girl is missing. She just happens to be the youngest daughter of one of the most powerful necromancers anywhere. So why isn’t he looking for her? Because her sister is the client, and she’s anxious to keep this grim news from Dad for as long as possible. Adding to the thrill of this case is the fact that Mr. B already assigned his best tracker to the case. That tracker has disappeared, too. Quinn reminds B that she’s not a detective, but he’s sure that she’s the right one for the job. Or the only one. It doesn’t really matter. What B wants, B gets, one way or another.
The book starts with a warning from Quinn, who tells the story in first person. What it boils down to is: if you don’t like bad language and bad attitude; if you think vampires are romantic and/or tragic and/or sparkle in the sunshine; then you need to find another book. Which instantly made me like her. She’s as good as her word. She doesn’t romanticize vampires or any other supernatural being. They’re bad and good and terrible and honest and grasping and chiseling, just like humans. The case starts with the missing girl, and then spirals into something altogether larger and far more interesting. The depth of the supernatural world here (and on other worlds) is truly impressive. There's not one Big Bad; there are several, depending on your plane of existence.
Around the middle of the book, there’s a short story, written in a parallel reality, to illustrate the point of the whole endeavor. The short story alone is worth the price of admission, and it quite nicely sets up the rest of the action. And there’s plenty of action. If you like your urban fantasy more on the gritty, noir side, with a generous helping of dark, led by a foul-mouthed narrator, this is the book for you. For series purists, I haven’t read the first book in the series, but Quinn grudgingly gives an adequate recap and gets on with things. I plan to find the first book, but you can start here with no problems. I hope to see a lot more of Quinn in the future.
Rating: 8 ½
ISBN# 978-0-451-41653-7 (trade paperback)