Thursday, October 8, 2009

"Guards of Haven" by Simon R. Green

This is the second omnibus collecting what would be books 4, 5 and 6 of the Hawk and Fisher series. Again, I really like Green and think he writes a good book, and this work is no different.

In "Wolf in the Fold", the team must root out the spy Fenris. However, doing so will be difficult, as Hawk and Fisher must go undercover as Quality (think upper-class). It involves quite a bit of fancy dress-up, not to mention a good deal of acting on their parts, as they head out to MacNeil Tower; there intel suggest that Fenris is holed up in the Tower. The Guards will be able to get in as distant relatives of the family; the MacNeil has recently died and his son Jamie is ascending to the position. Several other family members arrive, and soon there's all sorts of mayhem in the mansion, as it becomes apparent that Fenris is posing as a member of the family and there's an old family secret that has gotten loose, one that's starting to kill people in the Tower. Hawk and Fisher do what they do best - solve the mystery. A nice touch to this story is a small scene with Razor Eddie in a bar. Yes, that Razor Eddie of the Nightside fame, once again confirming my suspicions that Haven is London.

"Guard Against Dishonor" was an interesting read, as it marks the first time that Hawk and Fisher are split up. There's been a disastrous mission involving a drug lord, a new street drug, a pocket dimension, and the subsequent collapse of a tenement building, killing hundreds of innocent citizens. Hawk and Fisher must take the separate details while trying to lay low after the debacle. Of course, laying low isn't really in their vocabulary, not to mention there are people plotting against them, planning on them taking the fall for even bigger problems. It was a bit odd to read their separate adventures, but I also liked seeing them believe in each other, no matter what they were told by those around them. And, of course, they have to find the real culprits and clear their names.

Finally we have "The Bones of Haven", perhaps the best of the bunch. There's a lot going on in this short work (although not quite as short as normal, think this one did have a bit more than 200 pages or so). We have an extended cast of characters, including the SWAT team (Special Wizardry and Tactics team). There are several different but related events going on as well, and we get some different characters viewpoints, too. This is more several-streams-at-once style writing, and it works. All the action is building up to something horrible, something that will wipe Haven off the face of the map if not stopped. I found myself trying to read faster and faster, worried that this truly would be the end of Hawk and Fisher. My only complaint is that the ending felt, well, rather anti-climactic. It was too neatly wrapped up, almost unbelievably so, especially after that much nail-biting. Oh well, so Green had a slight misstep. Overall, still a great read.

I'm sure I haven't seen the last of Hawk and Fisher, but I don't think there are any other stories starring them right now. Green got busy with the Nightside and such; perhaps he'll return to Haven some day.

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