The slow death of Garrett P.I.

Anticipating some downtime during my recent vacation (stopping for lunch on the road to Vegas, waiting for the folks to show up a few days later, etc), I decided to catch up on Glen Cook’s Garrett novels, which I’d left off around book 9. I quickly reread those before starting the next five.

I think I should have stopped after book 11. I definitely should have stopped before book 14. Angry Lead Skies (10) and Whispering Nickel Idols (11) are “Garrett Lite”, suffering mostly from a lack of good plot ideas. Good for revisiting the setting and the characters, but a big step down from the earlier books.

Taken together, Cruel Zinc Melodies (12), Gilded Latten Bones (13), and Wicked Bronze Ambition (14) feel like a contractual-obligation trilogy designed to put an end to the series forever, with little regard for dangling plot threads and series continuity. I’m honestly surprised that he didn’t finish off the Dead Man to drive the final nail into the coffin.

The last one is the worst. I can’t decide who was doing more sleepwalking, Garrett or Cook. Lots of continuity and character errors, and in a series that’s always been built around Western fantasy tropes, suddenly we have a character named Hagekagome, and Garrett is glibly tossing off terms like shinagami and shinobi, and demonstrating a familiarity with Japanese folklore. Utter crap.

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