Joanne Walker, a likable young Seattle beat cop, continues to learn the ropes of her even more dangerous job as a shaman in Murphy's spirited second urban fantasy (after 2005's Urban Shaman). After a fencing lesson at the university, Joanne stumbles on the body of Cassandra Tucker, a 20-year-old junior, in the showers. The autopsy report states that Cassandra's death was due to a heart condition, but Joanne suspects otherwise. In her role as shaman, Joanne investigates "the Dead Zone," a place between life and death, while her earthside sleuthing leads to a coven that in recognition of her special abilities invites her to take Cassandra's place in opening a passage between worlds for Virissong, an ancient Native American spirit who's expected to end a local heat wave and global warming. Unfortunately, if not surprisingly, Joanne discovers after several nightmarish and somewhat bloated magical misadventures that Virissong is one nasty lying serpent. (May) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
In this sequel to Urban Shaman, Seattle beat cop and reluctant shaman Joanne Walker attempts to use her shamanic gifts to discover more about the murder of a young woman. Instead, she finds herself drawn into a group of practicing witches hoping to save the world by restoring an ancient being from the spirit world. Meanwhile, the city is in the middle of an uncharacteristic heat wave, protesters are assailing a global warming symposium, and Walker's best friend and mentor suffers a life-threatening episode that draws her away from both her real-world and spirit-world responsibilities. Murphy's second novel provides another look at a policewoman whose "beat" entails more than meets the eye and whose relationship to her past makes her leery of the power she's been given. Fans of Jim Butcher's "Dresden Files" novels and the works of urban fantasists Charles de Lint and Tanya Huff should enjoy this fantasy/mystery's cosmic elements. A good choice for most libraries. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.