The second book in my series of Lyn-learns-to-Review-Books is Red Iron Nights, by Glen Cook.
This book is part of the “From the Files of Garrett P.I.” series, which I tend to think of as the “Adjective-Metal-Noun” (Sweet Silver Blues, Bitter Gold Hearts…) series. I started reading these back in high school, another product of my used-book-store and library habit.
The series are set in a noir fantasy city (TunFaire) in the heart of a nation that has been gripped by war for, the impression is given, generations. There’s a distinctly ‘Nam feeling to the veterans, when they come up – which they do in Red Iron Nights more than I recall them doing in earlier books. Garret is a veteran of the war; every adult human male (and there are elves and gnolls and rat-men and pixies and, and, and…) is a veteran of the war.
And in Red Iron Nights, he is hunting down a serial killer who has a specific type.
Despite the gritty tone of the description, the stories manage to be a nice, relatively light-hearted read. Garrett, who narrates in what I believe is classic noir fashion, has a sense of humor and a way of brushing off both his own failings and his misfortunes. He is never going to be The Guy; this isn’t, say, Anita Blake, where he gets exponentially more powerful as the novels go on, but he’s also not Good Old Gil, always down on his luck.
If you can’t tell, I really enjoy this book, and this series. I keep going back to them over and over again – they’re not deep, they’re not thought-provoking, but they’re well written and immersive. And, like a crime show, at the end, there’s a happy ending (if not for everyone).
As a matter of fact, I’m already in the middle of Angry Lead Skies.
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