Cold Copper Tears (1988) is the third fantasy novel in the Garrett Files series, following Bitter Gold Hearts. In the previous volume, Chodo Contague took Donni Pell as an ornament. Lord Gameleon, Baronet daPena and the Stormwarden Raver Styx were all found guilty of murder. The Stormwarden was stripped of her property and powers and ejected from the Hill.
Domina Willa Dount disappeared with the bulk of the ransom money. Garret did recover some of the ransom, but gave up on finding Dount. Besides, the Stormwarden was hunting her much more relentlessly than he could have.
In this novel, Garrett is taking a vacation from the clients, but Jill Craight gets past Dean and hires him to protect her from break-ins by persons unknown. She refuses to accept his excuses and pays him an exorbitant retainer. Garrett takes the money and sub-contracts the job to Pokey Pigotta.
Later, Magister Peridont -- a big-wig of the Church -- tries to hire him to discover who is behind the mud-slinging among the Orthodox clergy. The scandal has been spreading and may carry over to the Church itself. Garrett listens to the man and begins to like his approach, but turns down the job.
Later, a darkelf half-breed youth gang tries to kill Garrett as he walks toward Morley's place. One of the gang is an albino. He fights them off and takes three knives, then continues on to Morley's.
Garrett gets more than his usual stares when he arrives. Morley takes him upstairs to the office and plants him in front of a mirror. He has blood all over the left side of his face; a breed had gotten in one good cut that he hadn't even noticed.
Morley calls in Puddle and Slade and also invites Saucerhead Tharpe to the office. Garrett explains his ruffled condition, passes around the confiscated knives, and describes the gang. Puddle identifies them as the Vampires led by the albino Snowball. He also mentions that they had been far from their own turf when they attacked Garrett.
Pokey shows up at Morley's place while they are talking. He has come to give back the money that Garrett had paid him. Somebody has given him a better offer. Still, he has already checked out the building and seen the watchers outside. They left when it got dark and went to the Blue Bottle, where they shared a room on the third floor.
In this story, Garrett gives the job of protecting Jill to Saucerhead. The next morning, Jill shows up and demands to know why he has not been personally protecting her. Saucerhead had visited her and explained the transfer of duties. She is very upset, but changed her mind when Garrett offered back the retainer.
After Garrett and Saucerhead walked Jill back to her apartment, Garrett paid a visit to the Sisters of Doom. Garrett lived in the territory of the Travellers, but no longer had any personal contacts with that gang. He explains the situation to Maya, the boss of the Doom -- sounds better than boss of the Sisters -- and then invites her over for supper. Maya has been a special project of Dean and himself for some time now.
When he gets home, Crask has already dropped off a package for Garrett. Crask works for Chado and does minor chores for him when he isn't busy offing people. Chado has heard about the Vampire's hit on Garrett and is not pleased. He had put out the word to lay off Garrett and the Vampires did not listen.
In the package is a note, a snip of colorless hair and four temple coins. Garrett visits the address given in the note and finds three dead members of the Vampire gang and one thoroughly frightened survivor. The living gang member tells everything that he knows.
This story soon becomes even more confusing. Garrett starts to find bodies of men who have been totally castrated. The temple coins point to an outlawed and extinct sect. Sorcerous attacks are made on Chodo Contague's mansion and Garrett's house.
Maya is abducted by a group calling themselves the Sons of Hammond. The Doom track down one of the kidnappers and take Garrett along to their temple. Garrett charges in, is promptly ambushed, and breaks a vial of magical potion among the kidnappers. Things get really confusing about then.
Highly recommended for Cook fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of destructive gods, various magics, and stubborn detectives.
-Arthur W. Jordin