It is always tough to start out in a new job. Garrett Willigins finally has his private investigator’s badge, but now he has to do whatever he can to pay the rent owed to a notorious gangster. Aided by his miniature dragon partner, Merle, he ends up chasing cats, shoveling manure, and doing dock duty all to pay the bills.
This novel is a fast-paced exciting romp through a variety of adventures. There are plots within plots, with two main threads running throughout the story. Not only are there Garret and Merle’s escapades, but there is also the matter of the soldier Rowgar’s imprisonment after he has been sent on a bogus mission designed to start a war between Vellia and Ponce.
There are a lot of interesting characters including minotaurs, ogres and a robot named P.C., who serves as an all purpose servant to Garrett and Merle. P. C. talks slowly and his dialog is printed with ellipses after every word. “My. . . bleach. . . has. . . crystallised.” I found this to be rather annoying after awhile, even though I liked the character himself.
Garrett is a smart detective who manages to land himself repeatedly in dangerous situations. I enjoyed the descriptions of this world, and the maps at the beginning are very well drawn. The world feels real, and Deep Cove is certainly a challenging place to live.
The two plot threads provide different story-telling techniques. Garrett’s work as a private investigator is told rather in the vein of a hardboiled crime novel but with a lot of intentional humor. Rowgar’s story is a very suspenseful adventure thriller. The combining of these two plots is accomplished skillfully so that the reader is kept in suspense throughout with exciting twists and turns on every page.
Readers of fantasy novels and detective stories will both enjoy following the exploits of Garrett and Merle as they work to sort out the villains.
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