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This Case is Gonna Kill Me    by Phillipa Bornikova order for
This Case is Gonna Kill Me
by Phillipa Bornikova
Order:  USA  Can
Tor, 2012 (2012)
Hardcover, Softcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Phillipa Bornikova's engaging new urban fantasy, This Case is Gonna Kill Me, is set in a world where powerful and long-lived vampires, werewolves, and elven Alfar 'had stepped out of the shadows and taken power.' Her heroine, Linnet Ellery, comes from a wealthy Connecticut family well connected to a vampire clan - in fact, Linnet was raised in a powerful vamp household and knows their ways well.

As the story opens, Linnet, just out of law school, is starting her new job at the premier White-Fang New York law firm, Ishmael, McGillary and Gold. Her immediate boss, Chip Westin, tells her 'This case is gonna kill me' - and he got that right! It's a probate case to do with a marine bitten by a rogue werewolf in Vietnam. Separated from wife and family on his return, he founded Securitech, 'the largest private military force in the world'. He then sired a werewolf heir, his second-in-command, Daniel Deegan. When he died in a car wreck, his ex-wife and kids contested the will leaving everything to Deegan.

The case turns from dull to dangerous when a werewolf shows up after hours - Chip doesn't make it but Linnet is incredibly lucky and survives. She starts digging into the case, helped by the firm's PI, Alfar John O'Shea - a changeling, he was raised by a human family, to whom he relates more than to his own race. And the violence - and Linnet's improbable luck - continue. The chase scenes get a little different when John drives into Elfland to escape pursuit. And there, John's mother gives them an ultimatum.

This Case is Gonna Kill Me is an excellent start to a smart, fast-moving urban fantasy series, and Linnet an engaging heroine. As this first episode ends, she's a lawyer on a mission - to get John O'Shea back from the Alfar. I can't wait to see how she manages to do it.

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