Ari Marmell is the author of several novels and one-shot stories for Spectrum (Random House), Wizards of the Coast, Pyr and role-playing game books for Dungeons & Dragons & World of Darkness titles and a tie-in novel for the hit video game Darkriders. His character, Mick Oberon has already had his first adventure in Hot Lead, Cold Iron and is a magical private detective who wears a fedora, and overcoat and sports elven ears he always likes to hide from others.
Like the Spear of Destiny or spear of Longinus, the Spear of Lugh is the most searched for weapon and now that interested parties know it's in Chicago, they want to get their hands on it - rumour has it whoever enters into battle with it in their hands is unbeatable. A Wild Hunt agent is already looking for it, as are members of the Seelie and Unseelie Court. There is one other person, who has the potential to make things better or worse for him, but either way, he has to get the spear or whoever else gets it first could be extremely dangerous.
Herne the Hunter warns Mick about crossing him and his kind who want the artefact, and Officer Raighallan from the Seelie Court gives him enough of an earful for him to realise he has caused trouble for his own kind. After the stern warning, Mick has to make sure he goes about his search a lot more quietly than he hoped, trying not to bump into any of the Seelie or Unseelie Court. Mick thinks if he does this he will be safe, but someone else comes to tip the balance, and it isn't in his favour; Ramona Webb needs him to investigate the man who followed her and broke into her car. She is afraid of him, but more than anything else she wants to be protected. Her story affects him, but she's hot enough for him to put a trail on her mystery follower to find out just who he is. Mick, as readers may have already guessed, isn't used to acting on whims, but there is something unusual about Ramona and her request.
Hot Lead, Cold Iron was the first in the series of Mick Oberon novels, and unlike some fantasy, Ari Marmell's contains a great deal of well-placed humour and a cool dose of hard-hitting faerie dust. It set out to show readers what Mick Oberon was like as a person, what he felt for humans or his own kind. He is a detective in the real sense of the word, as we have grown accustomed to such as a Humphrey Bogart in a role etc., Mick is secretive, he can be trusted to help, but he can also get into some of the most terrible trouble, though luckily he can also get out of it using his way with words and magical ability. He has a mean wand and knows how to use it.
This second novel has Mick acting on instinct when he doesn't want to, and having to be careful not to upset the two courts that could get him killed. The setting plus the mystery of Ramona's stalker make this enough of a dark faerie tale that takes our hero into the very depths of fear itself.
Review by Sandra Scholes
Hot Lead, Cold Iron
Mike Oberon #1
From the underworld to the Otherworld... Mick Oberon may look like just another 1930s private detective, but beneath the fedora and the overcoat, he's got pointy ears a [...]
Mike Oberon #2
The Spear of Lugh is in Chicago. And everyone, everyone wants it, for it is said that he who carries the spear into battle cannot be defeated. Those chasing it include an a [...]
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