It has been forever since I’ve had the chance to read a book in a single sitting, but I managed to knock out This Case Is Gonna Kill Me on Christmas Eve. Yay for early gift buying and wrapping!
This book is both urban fantasy (fantasy in the contemporary world) and a legal thriller. Linnet has just started her new job at a high power law firm. The law firm is run by vampires. Vampires, werewolves, and the Alfir (elves) have come out of the closet, so to speak, and have slowly started taking over Western society. But everybody just kind of accepts it, and everybody’s in an uneasy truce while they try to get rich or die trying.
So, anywho, Linnet also has a blap (that’s like a dollop, but applied more forcefully) of Stephanie Plum in the mix, so while bad things constantly happen to her, she manages to either helps save the day or she makes it out relatively unharmed. But seriously, this girl is a crisis magnet: werewolf attacks her boss in the office and she barely escapes, werewolf assassins kill attack her and an old guy in New Jersey, werewolf killers track her and her friends across country, cornering them in a strip club. Basically, if werewolves are around, you don’t want to be near Linnet. Because she’s a designated survivor, and the rest of us are just that many redshirts.
Despite that, though, the book is a lot of fun to read. Linnet is a likable narrator, and I found myself wanting her to do well. Whether she’s wading through the estate case that forms the bulk of the novel or handling a messy divorce or trying to figure out a complicated love affair, I wanted the savvy yet a bit bumbling lawyer to win. And maybe that’s a little lazy on my part, but it was the holidays, and do you want a downer over Christmas?
My only real concern with this book (besides the cover art, because really, that doesn’t even look like the character and it’s obviously just two stock images super-imposed, come on guys) is that there seems to be a lot of world out there for Bornikova to explore, and it feels like this novel only scratched the surface. She set up a complicated social structure for vampires that only came into play a few times, werewolves are presented as little more than alpha males with fur on speed, and the Alfir didn’t make an appearance as a group until the end of the book. And the second title came out this year, so I hope that she keeps it up and publishes a slew of them. But I guess I always compare books in this genre with Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files. And in comparison to a 13 book series, any single novel’s world is going to feel underdeveloped. Let me just put it this way: the dollop I got here was good, I just hope that it stays cute for a swallow and not just a taste.
If you like urban fantasy and/or legal thrillers, Bornikova might just be your new girl.
JMF Rating: 7.5/10
‘Til next time,