Monday, January 14, 2008

"Thunderbird Falls" by C. E. Murphy

This is the second book in the Urban Shaman series starring reluctant shaman/police mechanic Joanne Walker. As with several previous series I've read, this suffers from the dreaded "sophomore syndrome". "Thunderbird Falls" is still a fairly decent book, but it drags in places and sadly, her sidekick Gary doesn't have much page time.

Joanne is trying to just do her job as a beat cop when she is dragged yet again into the world of the magical. While showering off after a fencing lesson, she discovers the body of Cassie Turner, a member of a local coven. Suspecting murder, Joanne manages to get herself involved with said coven (reluctantly, of course) at the same time that her spirit guide, Coyote, seems to have taken a vacation. Things are about to go from bad to worse in Jo's world.

One of the reasons that this book falters is the lack of Gary-time and the obviousness of the wrong direction Jo is taking. Sorry, but anyone even remotely paying attention while reading this book will figure out quickly that someone is lying to Joanne, and it's pretty obvious who. That left me just wanting to get through the book, as it took out a lot of the mystery from the first book. And let's face it, Gary is such an awesome character that his absence is felt way too much.

On the plus side, Joanne does interact quite a bit more with her boss, Michael Morrison, whom she obviously has some feelings for; also pretty clear is that he has feelings right back. Of course, the two of them are stubborn and unwilling to admit anything, and there is the whole boss/subordinate problem to cope with as well.

I'm currently into the third book and it's going a bit better, so it's worth it to read "Thunderbird Falls". Just don't expect too much out of it, is all I'm saying.

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