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#223 C. E. Murphy: Heart of Stone (The Negotiator Series #1) - Off in the distance
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The Bellinghman
Date: 2008-01-26 13:06
Subject: #223 C. E. Murphy: Heart of Stone (The Negotiator Series #1)
Security: Public
Tags:books, books by friends, reviews
C. E. Murphy: Heart of Stone (The Negotiator Series #1)

Paperback: 448 pages
Publisher: Luna Books (Nov 2007)
ISBN-10: 0373802927
ISBN-13: 978-0373802920
Category(ies): Fantasy

Catie Murphy has followed up her Walker Papers series (urban fantasy, where a cop discovers she's also a shaman) with a different setup, yet one that is also urban fantasy with romantic tinges. Our heroine here, Margrit Knight, contrasts with Joanne Walker in being diminutive rather than tall, and being a lawyer having distinct problems with her detective boyfriend. However, like Walker, she comes from a racially mixed background - in this case being café latte in colour, in that ethnic valley somewhere between 'white' and 'black', with maybe a dash of 'red'.

As a lawyer, she works legal aid. And she does long hours, letting off steam by running in Central Park after work. That may be unwise, when it's often dark by then, but she's fit and nothing has happened yet. And nothing does happen, not until the night when she encounters a man. And later finds that another woman was brutally murdered in the park around that time.

The person she has encountered, though, insists he is innocent, but refuses to go to the police. The reason for that? He's a Gargoyle, and trying to explain why he turns to stone during the daylight hours would be difficult. In fact, Grit discovers there are five Old Races around, the Selkie, the Dragons, the Djinn, the Gargoyles, and the Vampires. And Grit ends up having to deal with them all, including crime kingpin Janx.

I enjoyed this, reading it in one session. It's nicely paced, with the revelations of what's going on coming steadily without being too stretched or too sudden. Grit's relationship with cop Tony is rocky, but not without hope. She leaves some hostages to the future, but she has also stored up credit with major players, and it will be interesting to see how the series evolves, given the promise that she is the Negotiater, a neutral go between for the Old Races.

I'm now waiting for more of that Old Janx Spirit.
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User: silly_swordsman
Date: 2008-01-26 10:16 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Sounds a bit like Mike Resnick's Stalking the Unicorn, which I found quite enjoyable. I think I'll have to look this one up (despite the fact that the to-read pile here is almost to the ceiling - too little time lately).
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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2008-01-26 10:20 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I've not tried Resnick's book - on the whole, I don't seem to find him in the bookshops. Actually, the same is true of mizkit, but having been given a copy or two of some of her other books, I read them, liked them, and started buying them off Amazon.
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User: silly_swordsman
Date: 2008-01-26 10:32 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
If you're only ever going to read one of his books, you should read Santiago, which is, as one Amazon reviewer put it, "one part pulp western, one part space opera, one part Robin Hood type adventure and five hundred parts cool". When I first saw Firefly, it reminded me of this book.

I'd lend it to you, but I only have it in Swedish translation. I've got a couple of other Resnicks (including Stalking the Unicorn) if you want to borrow some.
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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2008-01-26 10:40 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Now that's an idea. And I could lend you HoS.

Mind you, my to-read pile is actually quite large right now. Including a book by my great aunt, which she wrote back in the 1920s.
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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2008-01-28 18:01 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Turns out we already have StU in the library. I'm not sure I have read it, though, so I'll start it tonight.
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irishkate
User: irishkate
Date: 2008-01-26 11:07 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Check Waterstones for her books now. Some at least are in stock.
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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2008-01-26 19:53 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Well, I currently have everything listed by Amazon that has yet been published, with the exception of the book on London buses.

But if Waterstones are stocking them, great. To date, I've been getting them either from Amazon, or from PCon/Octocon.
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irishkate
User: irishkate
Date: 2008-01-26 20:09 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
OK - I thought I'd read everything published but I know nothing of a book on london buses......

but yes- Waterstones have at least on on the site and more in Ireland so I assume they have most.
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