Meredith Gentry #8: Divine Misdemeanors, by Laurell K. Hamilton
I had high hopes at the start of this Merry book – she’s back in Los Angeles, back at the Grey Detective Agency, even back on a crime scene. Someone in the city is murdering the demi-fey and posing their bodies after pictures in children’s books, and the police want her help before any more fey die.
But that promise quickly degenerates with too much recap of previous events, multiple sex scenes, and a weak ending. Hamilton goes against sidhe customs introduced in previous novels – now that Merry is pregnant, she shouldn’t be sleeping with anyone but the fathers of her babies, but she’s still on her back for anyone who wants it. And of course, many of the men do, and we’re treated to more magic by sex, including the construction of a new sithen in L.A. It felt like the men were waiting in the wings for their turn, as it was almost methodical in how most got laid.
Barinthus, one of my favorite characters, goes off the deep end. He fights with Merry, threatens Galen, and becomes a general pain in the ass, without a valid explanation. Nor is this really resolved, just glossed over as other events take prominence.
With Merry back at her job from book one, I thought the detective work would be more prominent. Instead it’s overpowered by paparazzi issues, sex scenes, and a lackluster ending. The crime is solved too neatly, and with a very blah resolution. I was disappointed.
There were some good funny moments, such as when Hamilton describes some of newer sidhe exiles cooking dinner, but there just weren’t enough of them to overcome the rest of the faults. I will say that I enjoyed mostly enjoyed the book on the surface, but the more I thought about it, and the more I read, the less I liked it.