One of the most compelling aspects of this first-person detective series is the evolutionary track taken by its damaged yet persistent hero. Del Franco continues to enhance the backstory relationships between secondary characters while laying out a gritty, compelling mystery. In the hands of a talent like Del Franco, murder, revenge and attempted world conquest add up to urban fantasy at its best.
A homeless man's murder is the leading edge of a new case that will throw druid detective Connor Grey from the fat into the fire. As Samhain approaches, there's concern that the veil between the living and the dead may be failing. The court of Faerie has sent an underQueen to investigate the leftover magical taint that remains as fallout from a massive essence explosion that Connor does not remember igniting during a fight to save the Fey. Another blast from the past arrives in the form of Connor's old Guild partner Dylan MacBain, whose current case may be closely tied to Connor's. Both Boston and Tara may be under siege if certain forces get their way.
(ACE, Feb., 320 pp., $7.99)