Authors: Glen Cook
Tags: #Fantasy, #Fiction, #General
He was short. He was ugly. Troops of nonhuman adventurers had enjoyed themselves swinging through his family tree. Most must have been ill-tempered and eternally suspicious because their descendant was in a bad mood and suspicious all the time.
I was face-to-face with Director Relway of the Unpublished Committee for Royal Security. Most people would not recognize the runt if he was snapping around their ankles, but I had butted heads with him several times. He was smiling. That was so unusual that I made sure my pockets hadn’t been picked already.
It was too late to make sure that I had an escape route plotted.
The ugly little man commanded more genuine hurt-you power than almost anybody but the queen of the underworld. He could intimidate the King himself, and all the sane people on the Hill. Irk Deal Relway and you could fall off the stage of the world forever.
Irk him badly enough and he might arrange for you never to have existed at all.
“A wild science fiction mystery that never slows down for a moment.”
—Midwest Book Review
“Garrett, private detective, returns after too long an absence. . . . Cook makes this blending of fantasy with hard-boiled detective story seem easy, which it isn’t, and manages to balance the requirements of both genres superbly.”
“Cook brings a dose of gritty realism to fantasy.”
Sweet Silver Blues
Bitter Gold Hearts
Cold Copper Tears
Old Tin Sorrows
Dread Brass Shadows
Red Iron Nights
Deadly Quicksilver Lies
Petty Pewter Gods
Faded Steel Heat
Angry Lead Skies
Whispering Nickel Idols
Cruel Zinc Melodies
Gilded Latten Bones
Introducing Garrett, P.I.
Garrett Takes the Case
Garrett for Hire
A GARRETT, P.I., NOVEL
A ROC BOOK
Published by the Penguin Group
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First published by Roc, an imprint of New American Library,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
Copyright © Glen Cook, 2013
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.
REGISTERED TRADEMARK—MARCA REGISTRADA
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party Web sites or their content.
“If you’re a vampire.” Strafa scattered covers as she struck, diving at the spot on the side of my neck that triggers the reflex. Just the threat of the tickle kicks me into a psycho self-defense mode.
She bounced away laughing, sat up, her eyes the color of stout flecked with gold. Fair warning! Flee, Garrett, flee! Run for your sanity!
Being a skilled observer, I observed, “You’re not wearing anything.”
“I never wear anything to bed.”
“I know. But now I’m officially taking notice.”
“Ooh! You wicked man! I see how much you’ve noticed. Is that all on my account?”
I grunted and tried pulling a sheet over me.
She laughed. “That’s why I do it.”
Yeah. So I’ll notice. So things will happen. The real devil wears nothing, extremely well.
Strafa is as close to the perfect woman as this broke-down onetime Marine can imagine. She’s beautiful. She’s always cheerful. She’s always ready, for anything. She is fun to be with. She is fun to be around. She’s even rich. What more could a man ask?
Well, a nicer band of in-laws would help.
The rich is because Strafa Algarda is the Windwalker, Furious Tide of Light, one of TunFaire’s premier sorceresses. She has these immense, terrible powers but very little interest in using them. The rest of her family, though . . . Another matter. Definitely another matter. They are weird and scary people, all. And I was on the brink of being pulled in forever.
I dove, tackling her. She laughed. “Distract me all you want, but we still have to go see Grandmother.”
“I’ll keep you here all day long.”
“Braggart. I’ll let you try tomorrow. But right now . . .”
Right now time was running out. And even Furious Tide of Light dared not make Shadowslinger wait, so it wasn’t long before we started the endless, too brief two-block uphill trudge to Grandma’s house.