There’s an arsonist in the city – an arsonist wielding lethal magical fire
But the fire witches in the city seem to be losing their power – except for the Fire Mage she has to work with who seems connected to her boyfriend Jakob – who Mallory has to work with despite the awkwardness.
Throw in some lethal vampire politics, friend issues and Jakob being determined to buy Mallory a car and she’s got a lot on her plate.
This book had many of the elements of the last book Iloved – especially the detective work. We have the twist, we have the distraction, we have the chasing down of various leads, coming up with theories, discounting them, coming back to them, then not finding evidence and having to go back to the drawing board.
And having more than one case! Even if they are related. How many police shows/books/etc have the character get to focus all of their attention on one case like there’s absolutely nothing else on their case load?
I really do like the police work and investigation in this series so far. I don’t think I was quite as much a fan of the police work in this book because I guessed what had happened rather a lot before I was supposed to which meant a lot of the red herrings felt more like distractions. I was almost frustrated with Mallory for not seeing what seemed to be pretty obvious
I do really love the idea that you can build all of these super elaborate theories about a criminal’s motives but how often do people do things for such petty, minor reasons? I like that a lot –I like the humanness of it, even when it’s so banal. I think this works so well because it both makes it very real but it also is a nice contrast from so many other books where the scale and stakes are always so high. Seriously you can have an interesting story without the entire world being in balance, or the city about to be eaten by sea serpents or something. I really like that, the closeness of it –but it still mattering because people were dying, people were hurting. It still matted without the spectre of apocalypse.
I also really like Mallory and her friends interacting. They’re really good together, great fun – and lo a protagonist with friends, a protagonist with a social life, a protagonist with a life outside of work.
This should not be a rare thing. Really, it shouldn’t be a rare thing, Really. But sadly it is – and her having a circle of so many female friends who are all awesome in their own way is really rare. A woman who doesn’t live for her work and who even has friends who *gasp* care about silly female things and fripperies? Yes we have it here
I also like the explorations of the different gods and the witches as well as how this bleeds over into social issues and society (like he Fire witches, their insular nature, wealth and class biases as well as how they regard family members without magic). Or spirit witches and how their senses change how they react to different things is also really excellently done