Book Review: Demon Hunts by C.E. Murphy

Posted August 4, 2014 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Book Review: Demon Hunts by C.E. MurphyDemon Hunts by C.E. Murphy
Series: Walker Papers #5
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Published by Luna on June 1, 2010
Pages: 368
Format: eBook
Source: the library

Also in this series: "Easy Pickings"

Seattle police detective Joanne Walker started the year mostly dead, and she's ending it trying not to be consumed by evil. Literally.

She's proven she can handle the gods and the walking dead. But a cannibalistic serial killer? That's more than even she bargained for. What's worse, the brutal demon can only be tracked one way. If Joanne is to stop its campaign of terror, she'll have to hunt it where it lives: the Lower World, a shamanistic plane of magic and spirits.

Trouble is, Joanne's skills are no match for the dangers she's about to face—and her on-the-job training could prove fatal to the people she's sworn to protect and help.

Also by this author: Thunderbird Falls, Walking Dead, Winter Moon, "Easy Pickings", Heart of Stone

Fifth in the Walker Papers urban fantasy series revolving around shaman Detective Joanne Walker in the Seattle PD.

My Take
Well, this is definitely an interesting twist: murdered hikers left in their favorite milieu.

I’m with Walker. Just because Joanne and Billy haven’t found anything yet, doesn’t mean they aren’t worth calling in. After all, forensics hasn’t found anything either and no one questions calling them. I do sympathize with Morrison. This magical stuff is not the stuff of police reports, lol. At least Billy could hide his supernatural talents, unlike Jo’s more obvious moves. It doesn’t help that Jo reminds Morrison that the killings are starting to look like what the Bragg twins were doing in Coyote Dreams, 3. I also agree with Joanne when she wonders why nasty is always so much more seductive than good.

I love it…and all you parents out there with kids will certainly appreciate the scene in which young Erik gets jam on Joanne and Mom applies ruthless efficiency to cleaning everyone, lol. Even Billy gets a bit of his own back with an I told you so.

Joanie continues her baby steps in learning; this time she’s learning about gifts and thanking those who help her from the spirit world, particularly the raven who helped her in Walking Dead, 4, even as she continues to mourn Coyote’s death. Yep, baby steps. The only problem is that Joanne’s baby steps amount to major catastrophes. She is at least starting to focus on making things better in the future rather than moaning over what’s gone wrong in the past. And Billy can’t help that much as he hasn’t explored his talent much because of his brother’s hatred for the paranormal.

Billy’s friend Mandy makes an excellent point about bait needing to be a woman. Thank god Joanne has been working on her shielding!

Huh…seems that Jo’s mom was a big deal in paranormal circles — she was known as the Irish mage — and we finally learn why she dumped Joanne off on her dad. We also learn more about what Joanne was doing in Europe with her mom. I had the impression she’d sat around her mother’s death bed the whole time!

”Decent people help the police when they can.”

Jo should be forced to have lunch up at the Seattle Center all the time, use it for a lookout post. Then there’s her mechanic’s view of healing and protection. That image of shock absorbers was too funny. I do love Murphy using Jo’s love for car repair as her metaphor to heal people. Or survive an avalanche. I enjoy the garden metaphor as well for a person’s soul. It’s always interesting to slip in and see what kind of garden people have.

Hoo-wee, Ray is taking Laurie Corvallis out to dinner!

It’s an intense reunion with the miraculous reappearance. It also creates major problems on top of Jo’s already huge problems: teetering on suspension and ignoring the reasons why. The jealousy angle gets explosive as well with the two most important men in her life feeling jerked around and going into throwdown mode!

Yes, more back history on Jo’s childhood, and we finally get into that horrible breakup in high school. When Sara Buchanan stopped being Jo’s friend. What an immature bitch she was! And still is!! And I am so angry about that jerky kid’s behavior. I wanna smack that little shit. And if Sara got in my way…he-he-he…

More rueful laughter as Joanne finds out how frustrating it is to deal with people who won’t accept the paranormal. It’s also a bit of a downer for Jo when she learns Coyote’s weakness.

The Story
It’s pretty near fatal to be a hiker in Seattle these days, what with hikers being targeted by something that’s eating them and stripping out their souls.

It’s expedient, but it turns out to be a suspension-able offence to get a civilian to help out with their investigation. When Mandy is attacked, Morrison gives them hours to solve this or they’re out.

Luckily for Joanne — and Mandy! — Coyote shows up. It’s short-lived relief as Joanne realizes Coyote’s limitations.

The Characters
Detective Joanne Walker, a.k.a, Siobhán Walkingstick, has been learning how to be a shaman for the past year. Petite is her vintage ‘69 Mustang. Gary Muldoon is Jo’s best friend and very supportive of her shamanic work. He’s carrying a tortoise spirit guide after events in Thunderbird Falls, 2. Sheila MacNamarra was Joanne’s mother. Coyote, a.k.a., Cyrano Bia of the Diné had been Jo’s spirit guide until he became trapped in Coyote Dreams. Turns out Coyote’s grandfather is a shaman. Herne, the Green Man, has invited Jo in and gives her an answer to use on Corvallis.

Detective Billy Holliday is her cross-dressing medium partner. Melinda is his witchy wife is a sensitive, and they have five kids now: Robert is the oldest, Jacquie, Clara, Erik, and Caroline, the baby. It’s obvious that the four older kids have inherited some ability to see from their parents. We’ll have to wait and see with Caroline, but I’m not holding my breath *grin*. Dr. Bradley Holliday is Billy’s brother.

Captain Michael Murphy is their boss and willing to suspend belief to use all the skills his people have. Heather Fagan is the head of North Precinct’s forensics team. Sandra Reynolds is the coroner. The cops include the intrepid Ray Campbell.

Sara. Special Agent Sara Isaac, Joanne’s best friend from 15 years ago. The one who spurned her when Jo turned up pregnant with Lucas Isaac’s children.

Sonata Smith is a major medium. Mandy Tiller is a friend of Billy’s who’s into hiking and other outdoor sports. She’s willing to play bait. Jake Tiller is her son and friends with Robert.

Mickey and Henley are fellow taxi drivers. Ashley Hampton gets a mention.

Charlie Groleski loved to rock climb and Karin Newcomb is a student at the university and a fellow tenant at Joanne’s apartment building. Laurie Corvallis of Channel Two News — her garden is interesting and with a nasty David in it — is right in there as well along with Jeff, the camera guy.

The Master is a major entity who delights in tormenting Joanne and uses banshees as his servants in the real world. Wendigos are shamans gone bad. They become creatures of the outdoors who have gone mad and want to eat human flesh. Liz Gregory was Tlingit who went missing last March during a blizzard.

The Cover
The cover is Jo kneeling in the snow, prepping a circle in the woods. You’ll recognize the scene when you read it. So peaceful looking, so vicious in action.

The title is a misnomer for the obvious subject, and I’m wondering if Demon Hunts refers to Joanne’s own demons from her childhood.

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