Demon Hunts (Walker Papers #5) by C. E. Murphy
Source: Personal shelf
Seattle police detective Joanne Walker started the year mostly dead, and she’s ending it trying not to be consumed by evil. Literally.
She’s proven she can handle the gods and the walking dead. But a cannibalistic serial killer? That’s more than even she bargained for. What’s worse, the brutal demon can only be tracked one way. If Joanne is to stop its campaign of terror, she’ll have to hunt it where it lives: the Lower World, a shamanistic plane of magic and spirits.
Trouble is, Joanne’s skills are no match for the dangers she’s about to face—and her on-the-job training could prove fatal to the people she’s sworn to protect….
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It’s been a while since I’ve read one of the Walker Papers, so long, in fact, that I only vaguely recall what’s been going on in Joanne’s life. Thankfully, C. E. Murphy does a nice job of reminding the reader about what’s happened.
This time around, Joanne’s fighting something a little bit different. Instead of gods or the walking dead, she’s fighting a cannibalistic serial killer, which was a nice change of pace. It’s an interesting plot device and ties in nicely with Joanne’s Native American roots, making it natural to segue into deeper discussions of why there’s all this trouble in Seattle, and what Joanne’s role is in the greater scheme of things. As much as I love the Big Bad aspect of these novels, it was great to see Joanne think about why she’s a shaman and what it means for her and the world. She’s come a long way – from naysayer to believer – and it’s wonderful to see her embracing her gifts and trying to learn more about what she is and what she’s supposed to be. In fact, Joanne’s growth is probably my favourite part of Demon Hunts, since she’s changed so much since Urban Shaman. I love it when authors let their characters grow and change and make mistakes and C. E. Murphy is one of the best there is at this, plus her work always has such a strong grounding in mythology.
I also like the will-they-won’t-they relationship that Joanne has with Captain Morrison. They totally spark but they’re at a point where they’re interested but not acting on said interest, for a variety of interest. Their tension is foregrounded in Demon Hunts thanks to the addition of a very special someone in Joanne’s life; it was fantastic to see her experience something more than mild flirtation or inadvertent entendres even though it leads to complications in other aspects of her life.
I have Spirit Dances sitting on my shelf right now and I think I may have to start reading it ASAP. The nice thing about delaying the reading of a book until the next one is out is that you get twice as much fun. Plus, I shouldn’t have as many problems remembering what’s been going on. 🙂