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The Gumshoe, the Witch, and the Virtual Corpse (1999)

av Keith Hartman

Serier: Gumshoe (Book 1)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
1771121,129 (3.84)3
Welcome to 21st century Atlanta. During your stay, depending on your tastes, you can cruise gay midtown (I hear that the Inquisition Health Club has introduced manacles and chains to the aerobics class) or check out the Reverend-Senator Stonewall's headquarters at Freedom Plaza (watch out for the Christian Militia guarding it, though) or attend a sky-clad Wiccan sabbat (by invitation only). Avoid the courthouse, where the Cherokee have turned out in full war-paint to renegotiate a nineteenth century land deal. Also stay away from all cemeteries, at least until the police find out why someone is disinterring and crucifying corpses. As you can tell, this is a lively novel, full of intricate plotting and engaging off-beat characters. Among the latter are a gay detective, a Wiccan family, an ambitious televangelist with an eye on the White House, an artist whose medium is flesh and blood, a Cherokee drag queen--and then there's poor Benji, who would just like to make it to his fifteenth birthday, assuming the MIBS don't get him first or his Baptist parents don't ground him for life because his new girlfriend is a witch. Picked as one of the eight best mysteries of 1999 by The Drood Review of Mysteries. Winner of Two Spectrum Awards ("Best Novel" and "People's Choice") Nominated for Two Lambda Awards ("Best Science Fiction / Fantasy Book" and "Best Men's Mystery".)… (mer)
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» Se även 3 omnämnanden

This book does a magnificent job of world-building. There's no info-dump; the author doles out information about the setting and how it works as needed, in a way that never jarred me out of the story. I'm jealous.

The setting itself is a little scary, and entirely too conceivable: a US that is torn along sectarian lines, where the Baptists rule parts of metro Atlanta and have their own news network, where Nation of Islam, Mormons, Wiccans and witches (whose magic is real), and other faiths keep a wary eye on each other and one hand on their weapons of choice, and it feels like it's going to boil over any minute now. What makes this even scarier is that the book was published in 2009, but it feels like it's building on the relatively current situation here.

The story itself...I'l admit, it took me a while to really get into it. The whole thing is first-person, with more than have a dozen POV characters; one winds up dead about two-thirds of the way through and another is the guy behind the whole thing. Each of the characters has their own story, and none of them seem to have anything to do with the others. The threads gradually start to weave together about half-way through, and by the time the book hits the home stretch (say, the last 20% or so), it's all one disconcerting puzzle where the pieces come together from several different directions. (Again, jealous.)

Some of the background characters came off as a little trope-ish, which is probably part of why it didn't get the fifth star, but it wasn't enough to make me go "Seriously?" and it didn't really register as trope-ish until just now.

All in all, not the best book I've read so far this year, but certainly in the top two. And I'm definitely going to get the sequel. ( )
  writersaurusrex | Jan 28, 2021 |
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Gumshoe (Book 1)
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For my parents, who gave me a love of books, a good education, and a surprising amount of understanding when I dropped out of my Ph.D. program to become a starving writer.
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Welcome to 21st century Atlanta. During your stay, depending on your tastes, you can cruise gay midtown (I hear that the Inquisition Health Club has introduced manacles and chains to the aerobics class) or check out the Reverend-Senator Stonewall's headquarters at Freedom Plaza (watch out for the Christian Militia guarding it, though) or attend a sky-clad Wiccan sabbat (by invitation only). Avoid the courthouse, where the Cherokee have turned out in full war-paint to renegotiate a nineteenth century land deal. Also stay away from all cemeteries, at least until the police find out why someone is disinterring and crucifying corpses. As you can tell, this is a lively novel, full of intricate plotting and engaging off-beat characters. Among the latter are a gay detective, a Wiccan family, an ambitious televangelist with an eye on the White House, an artist whose medium is flesh and blood, a Cherokee drag queen--and then there's poor Benji, who would just like to make it to his fifteenth birthday, assuming the MIBS don't get him first or his Baptist parents don't ground him for life because his new girlfriend is a witch. Picked as one of the eight best mysteries of 1999 by The Drood Review of Mysteries. Winner of Two Spectrum Awards ("Best Novel" and "People's Choice") Nominated for Two Lambda Awards ("Best Science Fiction / Fantasy Book" and "Best Men's Mystery".)

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Medelbetyg: (3.84)
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