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Thunderbird Falls    by C. E. Murphy order for
Thunderbird Falls
by C. E. Murphy
Order:  USA  Can
Luna, 2006 (2006)
* *   Reviewed by Belle Dessler

The latest addition to the Walker Papers series is a tale of magic and intrigue that once again finds beat cop and reluctant shaman Joanne Walker caught up in a wild adventure.

From the moment Joanne stumbles upon yet another dead body, she knows she's about to get in over her head - again. Calling upon the skills she's been denying for months, she takes a trip into the astral plane to find out what she can discover about the unfortunate girl whose remains clog the drain of the university showers. But instead of answers, Joanne finds snakes. Lots and lots of snakes. That's her second clue that her orderly life is about to take a turn for the bizarre.

Since she first tapped in to her shamanistic abilities, Joanne has been denying her potential. Now, though, she must not only accept the proficiency she's been endowed with, but she must also seek help from a teacher who can guide her. And with demons loose in Seattle, Joanne can use all the help she can get.

In Thunderbird Falls, Murphy has once again created a fun story filled with compelling urban magic and fascinating otherwordly creatures. From Coyote, Joanne's spirit guide, to Virissong, the serpent who shadows her every move, mythical beings play an important role in Joanne's development as a shaman and in the resulting story events. However, Murphy also allows Joanne's inner struggles to occasionally overshadow the plot line, which could disappoint readers looking for a consistently fast-paced read.

Overall, Thunderbird Falls is filled with well drawn characters and beguiling adventures. The clear strength of the novel, however, lies in Joanne herself, who manages to remain endearing and capable throughout a variety of situations that would make a lesser heroine crumble under pressure.

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