The term “Dead Man Walking”, for those of you who aren’t fans of Sean Penn, refers to a prisoner from Death Row as he takes his final walk to the electric chair, gas chamber, or whatever demise that has been pre-determined for him as payment for crimes against city, state, community, Fed, or just humanity in general. The term can also be used colloquially to refer to anyone headed towards their impending doom, such as the main character of this debut novel by Kim Harrison. I first got wind of this book while browsing the online forum of fellow Canadian author, Kelley Armstrong, who likes to introduce new authors to her fandom by running a book club on her website. As there were many good responses to the book posted, and I happened to see it while in the bookstore picking up another favorite of mine, I decided to give it a shot. I’m certainly pleased to concur with my fellow literary enthusiasts in praising the book. The action picks up almost immediately and there are enough giggles and thrills to keep you enthralled all the way to the end. I did read somewhere that the plot line mirrored a Harry Dresden novel by Jim Butcher in a lot of ways. Having not read any of that series yet myself, my enjoyment of the book was not inhibited by familiarity. To me, the characterizations were in the style and genre that I favor, yet unique enough to hold their own against say Elena from Kelley Armstrong’s “Bitten” or Anita from Laurell K. Hamilton’s “Vampire Hunter” series. This is the first series where I’ve seen a pixie take a major role as the main character’s mischievous, unresistable sidekick. The premise is that the world has become some post-biological global disaster brought on by a bioengineered drug. Since that crisis, the “Inderland” world has emerged from hiding. The term Inderland is used to describe all supernatural creatures long thought to be dead or myth such as vampires, witches, pixies, fairies, werewolves, etc. Because normal human law enforcement has little to no hope of controlling or enforcing law on Inderlanders, they have developed their own specialized law enforcement separate from humans. The catch is, apparently once you’ve been specially trained for this task force, you’re either with them or against them. Thus, when main character Rachel Morgan decides to quit her job at IS task force, she’s immediately marked for death and has to find a way to pay off her contract before “time is up” so to speak. I was slightly distracted by the thin veneer of background information, particularly the reason why Rachel was marked for death simply because she quit her job. However, since this is the debut novel, one can easily overlook the occasional lag in pace and thin plot in places as they’re covered by a myriad of exquisite little tidbits that spark your interest, such as Rachel’s strained relationship with her new roommate and business partner, Ivy and an apparently addictive “Joy of Vampire Sex” book that keeps popping up from time to time. All in all I thoroughly enjoyed the book and have great hopes for its continued success in subsequent novels. Cheers and good reading, folks.