Saturday, November 01, 2008

Review: Sweet Silver Blues

Glen Cook is best known for his Black Company series, a fantasy series that breaks all the usual stereotypes. My brother thought that his Garrett P.I. series was pretty good too, so I got started on the first book of the series.

The premise of the series is that of a Private Investigator in a fantasy universe. Nero Wolfe was the template, but not being familiar with the original, I plowed ahead. The character, Garrett, is an ex-marine turned private investigator. His old friend, Denny, died with a huge sum of money willed to an old lover, and as an executor of the estate he has to track her down.

Running a mystery story is difficult in a fantasy (or science fiction) setting, because if the reader doesn't know what the ground rules are for the story, it's very difficult to make guesses as to who did what. But about halfway through the book, I realized that Glen Cook solved this problem by ignoring the mystery --- events just happen one after another, with the result that the story becomes somewhat of a caper story, complete with tomb-raiding, an adventure involving vampires, and lots of action that reveals that Garrett isn't a nice guy at all.

Unfortunately, not liking the character or the plot (which meanders all over the place), I cannot find myself recommending the book. If you want to read Glen Cook at his best, go read the Black Company series instead.
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