Cold Copper Tears Mass Market Paperback – Jul 3 2007
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From Library Journal
An elusive damsel in distress and an evasive Church Magister involve private investigator Garrett in a complex game of sorcery and murder that lays bare the seamy underside of the city of TunFaire. Set in a world where humans coexist alongside 11 half-breeds, ogres, and trolls, this third outing for the laconic hero of Sweet Silver Blues and Bitter Gold Hearts combines sword and sorcery with hard-boiled detective fiction in a fast-paced adventure that should appeal to fans of both genres. JC
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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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
I like how the additional background material fits with the story. For example, we learn more about the Loghyr race (of which the Dead Man from previous books is one) and what they're capable of. But it's not just there for infodumping, it serves a purpose. Further, Garrett's association with underworld kingpin Chodo Contague deepens. Although Garrett is resistant to this association, he also sometimes emphasizes the connection if it will benefit him. (It's similar to Harry Dresden's association with John Marcone in the Dresden Files books, although Glen Cook's book came first!)
We also encounter the city of TunFaire's religious establishment for the first time, as well as youth street gangs and the red light district. And we learn more about laws and customs in the city, including the sanctity of the private home (this was first introduced in a previous book) and the ability of pretty much anyone who wants to, to mint coins. (As an aside, I found Garrett's investigation of some unidentified coinage rather interesting; not entirely sure why, except that the process was wrapped up quickly and cleanly when Garrett finally sets himself to it, and the outcome was interesting -- it was like a little mystery within a mystery.) At any rate, TunFaire is becoming a vibrant place, little by little, but I think everything fits together well and is introduced at an appropriate time (i.e., when it will be important to the plot).
Some familiar characters are back, including a few of Chodo's goons, Dean (the guy who cooks for Garrett), Morley Dotes, and Saucerhead Tharpe. Tinnie, Garrett's sometime love interest, is alluded to though not really present. We also meet at least one new character, Maya, who seems like she'll be sticking around for a couple of future volumes. She doubles as an assistant for Garrett and a damsel in distress in this book. I rather like the mix of vulnerability and toughness she displays, and I'll be interested to see where Cook goes with her. Finally, there's a femme fatale type, known by several different names.
There's not a lot of character development in this book. In one sense, it's because character development is often skewed in first-person POV books, which this is. In another sense, it's because we've already gotten to know Garrett in the previous two books. However, he displays a softer side here than maybe we've seen before and a reluctance to kill when it's not absolutely necessary. He has a conscience, and that makes him more sympathetic.
If you're wondering, yes, start with books 1 and 2. While the mystery is introduced early on and solved by the end of the book, Glen Cook's prose is terse and the best way to figure out all the character relationships is to read the earlier books, since Cook's not fond of repetition (and I thank him for it; I hate reading the same thing over and over again). I find these books easy and quick to read.
Some elements are repeated from previous books. In #1 and #2, Garrett gets himself out of a couple of jams with spells he receives from witches. This time, he gets the spells from a church official, but the effect is the same -- magic from non-sorcerer Garrett to save the day. I like that we're given a bit more background information about the spells here; they seem better planned and less spontaneously-created that way. I'm guessing access to a few key spells will be a staple of the series. While this element gets a little old after awhile, I do enjoy the unintended and/or unexpected results from the use of the spells.
I don't want to spoil the ending, but it's not at all what I expected in terms of the confrontation with the primary villain. I get the sense that Garrett *could* have gone in, guns blazing (figuratively speaking, of course, since the level of technology doesn't include guns), with some secret information from the Dead Man, and made quick work of the enemy. But there were extenuating circumstances and he had to opt for a different approach. It's not necessarily the most exciting approach, but it works, and it's different, and I appreciate it for those reasons.
In the end, I like the slow introduction of new characters and elements of the city, I like the fact that the mystery gets resolved in one book, I like the writing style, and I like how the new elements are interwoven with what we already know and what has happened before. I could do without some of the repetition of story elements (e.g., the spells), but overall, I'm still quite excited about this series. 4.5 stars.
Basically, this story begins when our favorite fantasy P.I. Garrett gets approached by a beautiful damsel in distress named Jill Craight. (Garrett getting hired by a cute chic what are the odds?) Naturally she needs Garrett help for a routine job: find out who has been breaking into her apartment and why.
Sounds pretty easy doesn't it? That is exactly what Garrett believes.
Unfortunately, things immediately get complicated when a Magister Peridont comes by, wanting to hire Garrett to locate some religious relics which have walked away. Since Garrett isn't a religious sort of guy - and he is naturally lazy never forget - he respectfully declines. Of course that doesn't keep things from spiraling downward, and Garrett finds himself being attacked by a gang called the Vampires. This leads our investigator to contact an old friend Maya, who is the leader of a gang called Doom, for advice. From Maya, Garrett learns that his client, Jill, was a former member of Doom and that she is a chronic liar. With Maya in tow and Garrett suitable confused as usual, the story begins in earnest.
What happens next is classic Garrett. He bumbles around without the first clue as to what is going on or who to investigate. He will find a clue here, a dead body there, stumble upon long forgotten bad guys out to murder him, and then spend most of his time drinking beer and attempting not to go home alone. Along the way, a reader is peppered with Garrett's wit and wisdom about people and life without you even realize he is doing it.
Almost anything Glen Cook writes to me is worth reading, and Cold Copper Tears is no exception. Now, it won't give you an epiphany about life, but it will entertain you for more than a few hours. And really isn't that what P.I. books are all about: entertainment.
BTW: At the time of this review, this book is long out of print. It's tough to find anywhere. As an alternative, look around for the SFBC's "The Garrett Files." This book is part of that collection.
Garrett isn't just in trouble, he's dooms if he can't extricate himself from a plot which includes priests, gods, and religious politics. There is a series of climactic struggles as Garrett hunts for whatever is driving the killer priests in their quest for relics and power in TunFaire.
Along with the regular cast, Glen Cook introduces Maya, the head of an all girl street gang who, on a good day, see the worst side of life. Maya will reappear at regular intervals and in many ways is the best possible mate for the rough and tumble Garrett, if he were ever to go looking seriously for a mate, But, to date, he hasn't. Maya is a spark of life and commands on of the larger roles that Cook gives to any woman in this series.
Cold Copper Tears isn't the best of the Garrett tales, but it still meets the high standard Cook works at. New characters and character traits abound and the complicated life in TunFaire unfolds a bit more with each episode. If you like what you've read so far, track down a copy.