Faded Steel Heat
by Glen Cook
A book review by Mark L. Olson
$6.99, Roc, 1999, 356 pp.
It's another Garrett, the hardboiled detective in Fantasyland, book. Faded Steel Heat is sort of a middling specimen of the genre. It's neither entirely dull routine nor is it one of the best.
The plot has a very nice touch: the long Karantine War in the Cantab (the background to the whole series until now) is over and discharged veterans are flooding back to TunFaire and mostly finding themselves out of work. Predictably, some band together in racist groups which aim to push out the hordes of non-humans who settled in TunFaire during the fifty-year war and took jobs which had gone begging for lack of humans to fill them. Besides them, there are the usual assortment of people and organization trying to use the situation to get ahead.
Garrett is hired simultaneously by all sides to sort out several intertwined plots. If the book suffers from anything (other than the entire series' bathos of a hardboiled detective, complete with mid-20th Century attitudes, living in Fantasyland surrounded by elves, gods, and trolls) it's from the complexity of the plot, which frequently left me as confused as it did Garrett.
Still it was a fun read.
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