My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Those of you who follow my book reviews know I’m a big fan of C.E. Murphy’s work, and you need look no further than Demon Hunts, Book Five of the Walker Papers series, for a fine example as to why. At this point we’re far enough in on the series that all of the major characters are pretty much established–and yet, this is still a reasonably self-contained story, one which may not confuse a casual reader who happens to start with this one as an introduction to the series. (I wouldn’t recommend this necessarily as a starting point, just because there are references to earlier books and those will mean more if you’ve read them, yet they’re light-handed enough to not leave one totally lost.)
As of this book, Joanne Walker is a firmly established detective of the Seattle PD, with Billie Holiday as her partner. She’s gotten a lot more comfortable with her powers and her general place in the world, and as a result, is a much more likeable character than the Joanne of the first couple of books. A significant character from the earlier books makes a satisfying comeback here, and his return is important not only to Joanne’s own character development, but to the progression of things between herself and her boss Michael Morrison as well (to which this loyal fan says YAY!).
The biggest thing I liked about this installment, though, was the main plot. A wendigo is on the loose in Seattle, tearing victims apart so thoroughly that not even their souls are left behind for Billie to trace with his own gifts. Joanne’s hunt for this creature has a lot more focus to it than her previous supernatural outings have done, with even a bit of a revelation at a critical juncture about the creature–a very simple, basic revelation that took me pleasantly by surprise. Props as well for an FBI agent showing up to provide interesting connections to Jo’s backstory as well as a hint of how other law enforcement agencies deal with the supernatural.
Overall, this book rocked, and all the more so for providing an excellent leadin for Book 6. Five stars.