Rhys Ford is one of my go-to authors. She never disappoints, not really, not even with a book that's not that stellar, such as this one. And I say not that stellar, but I'm still giving it 3.5 stars.
There's a lot of good stuff here. A couple of great main characters, the POV character being Senior Inspector Roku MacCormick of the Chinatown Arcane Crimes Division of San Francisco. He's telling the story. He's part faerie, part human and has suffered some tremendous losses in his life. He's cranky and cynical a lot of the time and of course, I took to him immediately.
His partner, his new partner, Trent Leonard, is a big handsome hunk of a man, but I felt like we hardly got to know him. Yeah, his backstory was there and all, but I really never got the feeling I knew him the way I've gotten to know so many of Rhys' characters.
The setting is great and the plot works well. There's a lot of magic in this version of San Francisco and Rhys makes it all work quite nicely. We are immersed in Chinese culture, but there was just so much of it that was just there... never explained to one like me who is not familiar with a lot of it. I would have liked either a little more explanation of what was either food, drink, holy relic, a piece of clothing - there were times I was never sure and that tended to take me out of the story.
I also found that there was a lot... a whole helluva lot of description of things. Places, especially. Too much of it for my taste. Now, I have a theory.... this book was originally a short story in an anthology that was expanded into a novel and I wonder if what I was finding too much was due to the expanding of something already written? Maybe. But the thing is, the story didn't really need it! I wanted more character, maybe more interaction with the secondary characters who I really enjoyed and maybe just more discussion between Roku and Trent that wasn't all about the hot sex. But OMG, the sex was hot! There wasn't a ton of it - a lot of tension though. A LOT!
Anyway, should this turn into a series, I won't complain. I want to know more about Roku and Trent and Roku's family and friends and the world.