Hair Raising

“We must have been a strange sight, a singed zombie detective and a bearded lady moving like two bats out of hell.” -Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I.

Hair Raising is another fun entry in Kevin J. Anderson’s Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I. series. This time werewolves take center stage as friction between full-time and part-time werewolves comes to a head. As always, zombie detective Dan Chambeaux (aka Shamble) is in the middle of it all. Sorting through customer satisfaction issues with a body parts store, helping a harpy track down the culprit of a back luck charm, assisting a zombie with child support issues (if you’re dead, do you still pay child support?), and solving the mystery behind random werewolf scalpings, Dan has his hands full. The book certainly keeps the story entertaining with lots of crazy, oddball elements.

In previous books, we’ve seen Dan deal with a lot of weird cases. This time around, someone is scalping werewolves. The random violence serves to worsen the already tense relationship between werewolves. On one side is the full time werewolves derogatorily called hairballs. On the other side is the once a month werewolves who transform when the moon is full, aka monthlies. The two sides hate each other and are looking for a fight. Unfortunately it’s up to Dan to try and avert a massacre in the Unnatural Quarter.

Of course one case is never enough, and Dan has several. Each case blends the mundane reality of the real world with the fantastical reality of the Unnatural Quarter. In a city where monsters are very much real, crazy stuff happens. It makes for some entertaining situations, plus it gives the story plenty of room for humor. However, I was also surprised by the tension and drama that developed later in the book. Overall, the various cases provoked a very nice balance of emotions.

Another nice thing about this series is that new readers can jump in at anytime. Reading the previous books is not crucial to enjoying the current one. They’re also easy going stories that allow escape without undue stress. These are not stories where the author builds up your favorite character and then mercilessly slaughters them. Instead, they’re fun, imaginative stories re-envisioning the world with people as monsters.

As the third book in the series, I thought Hair Raising was another enjoyable journey. The cases were creative and there was quite a lot of new stuff, further fleshing out the world. Plus there was some serious drama toward the end that had me really worried for Dan. I’ll definitely be picking up the next book to see where this series goes from here. It’s always a lot of fun and a nice change up in my reading list. I give Hair Raising a fun four out of five metal bikinis.

Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.

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