Review of WORKING FOR THE DEVIL by Lilith Saintcrow (see her blog)
DANTE VALENTINE, BOOK ONE
Orbit, September 2007
Dante (Danny) Valentine makes a pretty good living as a necromancer. Raise the dead, ask a few questions, and terms of the will or suspicions of murder can all be answered. When a demon shows up at her door, points a gun in her face, and summons her to a meeting with Lucifer himself, though, that's way beyond the job description--even though Danny does the occasional bounty hunting job.
What Lucifer wants is for him to track down a rogue demon--a demon who, according to Lucifer, stole a mysterious 'egg' from Hell. If that egg hatches, Lucifer assures Danny that the Earth just might not survive the experience. To help her, Lucifer sends his personal hatchet-demon, Japhrimel to ensure she survives long enough to confront the rogue. Because, unfortunately, he's given his personal word that neither demon nor man shall harm the rogue.
Danny wants to go alone, but her friends insist on coming along. When their journey takes her to the city where her ex-boyfriend lives, he joins in as well. She needs all the help she can get. The rogue has taken over a Mafia family and has plenty of human resources, as well as his own demonic powers, to call on. Danny doesn't seem to stand a chance, especially given Lucifer's promise. Being a woman just doesn't seem enough.
Author Lilith Saintcrow (see more BooksForABuck.com reviews of novels by Saintcrow) creates an interesting take on the legend of demons. Far from being unmitigated evil, demons like people--and have manipulated their DNA to raise them from apes to something that a demon could socialize with. Of course not all of the ancient legends are false, either--and the hideous power demons hold is dangerous indeed. Dante Valentine is a damaged but sympathetic character, attempting to survive, dealing with her losses (begining with being abandoned as an infant), and torn between a demon lover and the man who once held her heart and then broke it.
I'm happy to recommend WORKING FOR THE DEVIL.
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