Red Hot Fury
by Kasey Mackenzie
Cover Artist: Judy York.
Review by Harriet Klausner
Ace Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780441018925
Date: 29 June 2010 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
Marissa "Riss" Holloway is a Fury Sisterhood member, an arcane race of former humans who choose this path to protect mortals from the others. She also has been the Chief Magical Investigator in Boston for the past five years. Thus when an arcane corpse is found in the dirty water of Boston Harbor, she is notified.
Riss arrives at the murder scene only to be stunned as she knows the victim too well. It has been a few years since she and Fury sister Vanessa. Ness and she were best friends; but they had a fight and have not spoke to each other since. Riss notices the body has been slightly magically altered as the tattoos are not quite right.
When she reports her findings to the Boston PD brass, Riss is stunned when they suspend her. She was anticipating being removed from the case because she knew the dead person, but to be put on administrative leave is a kick in the gut; especially since she has no earthly or otherwise idea why. She does believe whoever yanked her has to be way up in the hierarchy; perhaps all the way at the top. Soon after being placed on suspension, an assassin tries to kill her. Needing help she asks her ex, the only person she trusts with her body, shapeshifting Warhound Scott Murphy to watch her back as she goes underground to investigate a homicide, an attempted murder and what she believes is someone trying to start a cross-species war.
The urban fantasy story line starts and stops abruptly and is choppy at first but smooths out once the key cast is fleshed out (start of chapter 4). From that point the audience obtains an interesting paranormal investigative tale as Riss works the mean streets of Boston and its sewage (human and otherwise) with Scott watching her back and other parts of her anatomy. The paranormal elements seem real for the most part though some species are not fully developed; especially interesting is the intermingling of Riss and others with the humans who are in charge.
Kick butt females starring in an urban fantasy is the in thing as is the case with Red Hot Fury; obviously this is Riss' tale as she not only goes underground to investigate who murdered her "sister" but also who wants her dead too. Further motivating her to find the culprit is her fear the motive is to cause a cross species-war. Fans will enjoy Riss' guided tour of the city, which is a bit different than what most people see of the city, but adds to the sense of realism for readers that we are in an urban fantasy setting.
Although most of the audience will guess the identity of the killer and the secret conspiracy much earlier than Riss does, readers will enjoy the fascinating Fury red with heated anger at the mortals running the police and the killer of her estranged BFF (could not resist using an abbreviation as Kasey Mackenzie has a propensity for using them). Red Hot Fury is an overall entertaining and spellbinding urban fantasy due to the paranormal city on the Charles and a heroine with a grudge in her heart, a chip on her shoulder, and tattoos screaming for vengeance.