I’ve looked at both the first and second novels in the Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I. series by Kevin J. Anderson over the past few weeks. Today, I’m here to discuss the third book in the series, Hair Raising. How does this entry compare to the rest of this enjoyable series?
The Unnatural Quarter’s best undead detective may have just solved some very difficult cases, but there’s no chance he can rest peacefully. When some full-time werewolves turn up scalped, tensions between their group of the monthly werewolves flare up, threatening to incite an all-out gang war. If that’s not enough, Dan Chambeaux needs to solve a case of visitation rights involving a zombie father, help a harpy waitress lose her bad luck, help out a mad scientist for his Body Building competition, and investigate a shady zombie businessman selling spare body parts. How will our hero put all the pieces together?
As with the other books in the series, Hair Raising is a fun read. Author Kevin J. Anderson’s writing is humorous and light, making for an enjoyable and quick read. Anderson continues world-building with this novel, and I enjoy how he investigates various aspects of Unnatural culture. Furthermore, this book, while the third in the series, is written well enough to stand alone for new readers without any knowledge of the series, while not going over points that would bore fans of the series. The characters are interesting, well-developed, and feel more real than their often mythical origins would imply.
Hair Raising is the best book in the series thus far, but it still has a few shortcomings. One is that, once again, Dan Shamble has to deal with a shady corporation whose business is not quite legitimate; perhaps this is a theme Anderson enjoys, but its the central conflict of every book thus far and feels repetative at this point. The final quarter of the book also felt somewhat rushed; the pieces all fell into place, but some of the plot threads received hasty resolutions. Even so, these shortcomings aren’t enough to substantially weaken one’s enjoyment of the novel.
Ultimately, Hair Raising is an enjoyable read. This book isn’t an example of amazing writing, but it’s a fun story that may cause you to chuckle to yourself as you read. I’d honestly suggest reading the preceding two books, but if this is the only one you can get your hands on, its not a bad place to start. It’s definitely the best book of the series thus far!
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