Release date: January 18, 2011
Series: #2 in the Paranormal Scene Investigators series
More Info: Amazon
But we can't give up. We're needed, especially when a case comes along that threatens to pit human against fatae. But one wrong move could cost us everything we've worked for….
"Pack of Lies" begins a few months after Hard Magic; the PUPI's are hard at work training and still fighting for recognition in the Talented community. It's action packed right and grabs you from the first paragraph. I had the pleasure of hearing Ms. Gilman read from the first chapter at Arisia in January and I kept hearing her voice in my head, all through the book.
The story moves quickly but doesn't short change character development. It moves fast, there is plenty of drama, but also insight into the characters, and the potential for a soul mate, one of my least fave tropes, but Gilman has a different take on it, and neither character involved is acting as if anything is written in stone.
The job this time is an attempted rape and and the damage that the would-be victim inflicts on her alleged attacker. The rape bothers Bonita on for a couple of reasons: first, she's very open and free about her sexuality, she enjoys sex and is comfortable with herself as a sexual being, and she can't understand how some people can use sex to hurt. In some respects she is a bit sheltered. For a while, she becomes paranoid around men, whether they friends or strangers, and that bothers her too. She finds herself flinching away from even casual contact with a male. By the end of the book, she has mostly worked through it and has regained her confidence. Second, it seems like a simple open-and-shut case, one that could help improve their standing with other Talents, but it quickly becomes increasingly complex. Bonnie has to overcome her natural sympathy for the victim to step back and look at the case objectively. Things start getting ugly between Talent and Fatae and they have to solve the case before things escalate even further. The story line in this book ties in with the Retriever series but it can be read independently.
The book also has some mythological beasts rarely seen in urban fantasy, but more commonly found in traditional fantasy - a unicorn (though called by a different name) and a dragon. They are two of my favorite mythological beings so I was happy that Gilman was able to incorporate them and she did it very smoothly. The unicorn, in fact, and his actions or lack thereof, is a major figure in the story.
Gilman does the unexpected all throughout the story and there are many twists and turns. The story is solid, with snappy dialogue, deft characterization, and some thought provoking looks at racial tensions, sexual assault, and the choices people make.
**This is an edited, revised version of the review that was originally published**
This eARC was provided by NetGalley.