Kittredge C., Street Magic, St Martin’s Press, 2009
I had been following Caitlin Kittredge on Twitter for a while and what she had to say or rather the way she said it had me intrigued and made me want to read some of her books. So I bought Street Magic. The book left me with mixed feelings. I found the story gripping and read it with passion but at the same time the main character, Pete, and her often gratuitous violence didn’t convince me that she really was a detective inspector. It may just be my imagination but I always saw her as somewhat younger and aspects of her behavior added credence to that impression. The unruly and unconventional nature of Pete didn’t help make her fit in an institution like the police. In addition, the milieu of the police was so sketchily evoked that it didn’t convince me she was really a police inspector. Talking of sketchiness, the story revolved so tightly around Pete and her mage friend Jake that it was dense and claustrophobic which often suited the storyline well. Beyond those limited boundaries the world surrounding the story dissolved rapidly into smokey vagueness. The unfolding of the almost incestuous relationship between the detective and the mage was well handled if a little predictable. One of the most striking things about Kittredge’s writing was the way she used language to create an atmosphere, using words to build images in surprising but generally very efficient ways.