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May 2016
 

The Bellinghman
Date: 2008-09-02 22:28
Subject: #285 Tom Holt: Barking
Security: Public
Tags:books, reviews
Tom Holt: Barking

Paperback: 656 pages
Publisher: Orbit (4 Nov 2004)
ISBN-10: 1841492868
Category(ies): Fantasy

I've been a fan of Tom Holt ever since his early novel Expecting Someone Taller. He's carved himself a niche writing humorous fantasy set in the modern world, complete with dead end jobs, city commuting, and the like, sprinkled lightly with fantastical elements that most people never suspect. Many of these are connected, having related characters, but some of them are standalone.

This is one. Our hero is Duncan Hughes, a low level lawyer who doesn't like the enforced competitiveness of working for a City Partnership where he's expected just to get as much money from his clients as possible. But when his old school friend offers him a job at a different practice, he declines.

Then he's fired anyway. So, with nothing to lose, he goes off to see his overly-enthusiastic friend, who promptly signs him on as a full partner, before teaching him always to check the small print of employment contracts by literally biting him. A moment later, life has changed, as Duncan suddenly discovers what it's like to be a werewolf as well as a land shark.

(You saw that coming, didn't you, from the title?)

This is another comfortable Holt story, running as smooth as clockwork from outset to denouement, with the plot gently but insistently cranking up as it goes. There's nothing startling here (I've heard some people call Holt formulaic), but it's enjoyable enough, and has the usual warm observation of human nature. So, another reliable book from a reliable story teller.
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