by Marianne de Pierres
Published by Angry Robot, Limited
Genres: Science Fiction, Thriller, Urban Fantasy, Western
Virgin Jackson is a ranger at one of the few wild places left in Australia’s conurbation – Birrimun Park, a tourist-drawing Western-themed desert national park. And Virgin’s having a bad week. She finds an impossible corpse in her park, she is attacked in her home, her co-worker is spying on her, and she’s been saddled with US Marshall Nate Sixkiller. Why is she being blamed for the park murder? Why can Sixkiller also see the wedge-tailed eagle only she has been able to see before? And what does all this have to do with the mystery of her father’s death?
Peacemaker’s blend of genres – noir, paranormal urban fantasy, western, action – echoes in its blending and blurring of cultures and folk lore. Fast paced and set in a nearish-future Australia, I don’t know what to compare this to. It’s its own thing. And I love it.
“I just don’t get it. One tiny amphetamine bust in the park a week ago and suddenly I’m being lumbered with a hotshot cowboy from the other side of the world. I know my own territory, Bull. Been doing a good job of looking after it. So what the hell’s going on?”
“Something’s been flagged at the top levels. I can’t talk about it yet but I need you to make him welcome and help him in anyway you can.”
My horse was the most grounding thing in my life, the warmth of her skin and the faint tang of hay that clung to her.
I paid for the real thing; had bales of it flown in from New Zealand every month. It was freaking expensive, but the Land of the Long White Cloud produced a good part of the raw produce that sustained the Southern Hemisphere these days.
When Benny finished drinking, I led her through to the Interchange– several interlocking gates, identity protected and monitored. Red dirt became cement and a wall rose unexpectedly out of the desert in colours that graded from golden yellow up to sky blue. From this angle, the top of it blocked the sight of even the highest downtown skyscrapers.
I slapped the DNA sampler so the gate would open and led Benny through into the stables.