Monday, December 04, 2006

Greywalker -- Kat Richardson

Kat Richardson was on a panel I moderated at the Bouchercon. Greywalker, her first novel, had just been published, and there were only a few copies available at the convention. I bought one of them just before they sold out.

Greywalker is the story of a private-eye named Harper Blaine. When she's assaulted, she suffers a severe head injury and "dies" for two minutes. After she recovers, she finds that she has the ability to enter "the grey," a sort of half-world between life and death. There are lots of strange things in there, and the adjustment isn't an easy one, which is one of the things I liked about the book. Unlike a lot of fictional characters in similar situations, Blaine doesn't immediately figure out what's going on and make the most of it. She fights it, and she's still fighting it when the book ends (though you can bet she'll be back and have a lot more to do with the grey before the intended series runs its course).

This first novel involves a missing person, vampires, an antique parlor organ, an Irish witch, and of course "the grey." There's enough action to satisfy just about anybody, along with some humor, and Blaine's first-person narration moves the story along at a good clip. Sure, Richardson is mining some of the same territory staked out by the likes of Jim Butcher, Kim Harrison, Laurell K. Hamilton, and Charlaine Harris, to name a few, but she has her own original take, and it's worth a look. Check it out.

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