- Title: Sweet Silver Blues
- Author: Glen Cook
- Series: Garrett Files #1
- Genre: Fantasy
- Format: Paperback
- Source: Own
- Reviewed by: Bookaholic Olga
- Rating: 3 out of 5
Description: It should have been a simple job. But for Garrett, a human detective in a world of gnomes, tracking down the woman to whom his dead pal Danny left a fortune in silver is no slight task. Even with the aid of Morley, the toughest half-elf around, Garrett isn’t sure he’ll make it out alive from a land where magic can be murder, the dead still talk, and vampires are always hungry for human blood.
Review: A hardboiled detective story in a fantasy world.
Garrett, a human PI in a world filled with elves, centaurs, gnomes and other assorted non-humans, is hired to find a beneficiary of his late buddy Denny. Denny left a fortune in silver to a woman no one in Denny’s family has ever seen. The search leads Garrett to confrontations with spies and vampires, as several conspiracies interlock and explode in his face. Corpses pile up, but of course, as the novel is the first in a successful series, Garrett comes out on top. He finds his damsel and triumphs over his enemies.
Garrett is a former soldier, tough, rough and utterly manly. No shred of culture or education, but he is street-smart, brave, and honest. To a degree. His helpers in this adventure are a keen fighter Morley, a vegetarian half-elf with an agenda of his own, and three grolls – some half-breed creatures, strong like behemoths and with about the same level of intelligence.
Most of the supporting extras are men (or rather males) of various species. None described as nice. Actually, no one nice seems to live in the dirty world of Cook’s invention. I wouldn’t want to ever visit there.
The only three women appearing in the cast are two shrews (one a bit better than another) and one victim (the one Garrett is searching for). None described in any way complimentary, except the surface prettiness. None can take care of herself. All of then need the macho guys to protect them.
The pacing is fast, the language clean and sparse, and the story reads easily, but I can’t say that I liked it much. Everything – the world and the characters – is primitive, one dimensional, with no hidden depth. If it was a comic, it would’ve been in B&W, with no colors needed. I read other novels of this subgenre, including Frank Tuttle and Alex Bledsoe, that I liked much better. On the other hand, they wrote their books several decades after this one was published. As one of the first in the subgenre, this novel wasn’t bad at all.