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All art is unstable. It's meaning is not necessarily that implied by the author, There is no authorative active voice. There are only multiple readings. David Bowie, 1995

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Spirit Dances by C.E. Murphy (ARC)

The exploits of urban shaman Joanne Walker, Seattle police detective extraordinaire, continue. Once more Walker’s best planned intentions go astray creating havoc during a new murder investigation. Sure she intuitively connects many of the dots of the case, if she could only solve her own relationship challenges and inner turmoil this would be an added bonus.

As Joanne herself explains,
‘I was bad at relationships. I was bad at reading between lines, at figuring out what people really meant if they didn’t actually say it, and at being charming or flirty or whatever I was, exactly that women were supposed to do to attract men. My skill sets lay along the lines of taking apart car engines, drinking grown men under the table—and more recently—solving esoteric murders.'

The death of a Native American dancer under bizarre circumstances and the disappearance of some of the homeless of Seattle are seemingly unrelated. Yet even the most distant of relationships sometimes merge and dance to a different rhythm.

A foot-in-mouth heroine who goes from incredibly wise, to a gangly teenage in under 30 seconds, Walker treads her world as a warrior-shaman, dealing with cases that would make the rest of us shudder.
Here is a character we can laugh with and wince with. A heroine we readers can enjoy standing alongside—quirky, irreverent, yet sparklingly sincere and loveable. The self-deprecating humor and irony Murphy laces the direst of situations with is wonderful.

The supporting characters of Billy and Melinda continue to grow and add strength to the story. Joanna’s relationship with her boss Morrison continues to fascinate and frustrate both her and us. 
Another fast paced, well crafted read from Murphy.

Pub Date: 03/29/2011
Harlequin: Luna Books
ISBN: 9780373803255

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