The first two Connor Grey novels were more like detective novels with a paranormal flair. This third volume is firmly in the paranormal, while still having an intricate mystery, giving readers a deep look at the world and characters Del Franco has imagined. It is easily the best of the series so far and makes me hungry for the next installment.
A lot of plot lines take route in Unfallen Dead, and readers finally get significant progress on Connor's disability, the political instability among the Fae and even Connor's relationship with Meryl. Yes! Connor is still struggling with the black mass in his mind which blocks his druid abilities, and working with Murdock on cases the Guild won't bother with. His latest case involves two humans murdered by a druidess that link back to an old case of Keeva's (so of course The Guild eventually gets invoved). And Meryl is involved up to her neck as well, in ways that will startle Connor and the reader. Keeva's got her own problems - on suspension for being manipulated against the Guild. Connor is stunned when his old Guild partner, Dylan, arrives to temporarily take over her position. Connor and Dylan have unresolved issues, naturally, but their camaraderie is just what I was missing in Connor's relationship with Murdock. To top it off, the Faerie royal court has taken an interest in Connor and Meryl because of the events at Forest Hill and the malignant essence, Taint (book 3). Queen Ceridwen has come to investigate, or place blame, depending on one's point of view. She carries a spear which seeks the truth. Only, it does more than seek truth and it likes Connor more than her. Samhain is approaching and the veil between worlds is thinning - finally allowing crossovers that have not happened since Convergence.
Chock full of action, intrigue and outright adventure, this novel has it all. I was engrossed from the first page to the last. Connor finally recognizes that the black mass in his head has not so coincidentally saved his life, and the world, more than once now. It figures directly into the plot here, and like the spear, is more than it seems. The arrival of Dylan brought welcome information about Connor's past and a new ally. Dylan doesn't dismiss Connor because of his lack of power, and even offers him a way back into the Guild if he wants. Connor's command of the spear will take him through the veil in a kick-butt ending that includes a confrontation with his arch enemy, revelations about Queen Maeve and her motives, and the dead crossing over into Boston from Tir Na Nog (the land of the dead). I especially liked that Connor didn't "accidentally" save the day this time despite his disability, he planned and executed it. This author has a gift for hooking a reader with an awesome ending. Consider me hooked - and bring on book 4.