Hounds of the Underworld, by Dan Rabarts and Lee Murray, starts at a crime scene although one at which the expected body is strangely absent. It is set in New Zealand of the 2040s, although the characteristics of this imagined time and place are allowed to seep in by immersion rather than being clumsily narrated. As well as having two authors, the book has two protagonists, Penny (or Pandora) and her adoptive brother Matiu. Although Matiu, with a troubled past and working as a driver including ferrying Penny around, is the first point of focus, it is Penny, a brilliant but rather insecure freelance forensic scientist, who seems to be the primary character of the story. And yet, as events unfold and paranormal events occur, it seems a lot is going to hinge on Matiu.
I found the story gripping to read. Investigation, action, sci-fi and a dash of unspeakable horrors! My only complaint is that, although the mystery of the first scene is at least partly explained by the end, it is clearly only the first part of a larger piece. To be fair, the same could be said of The Lord of the Rings but I’m going to have to wait impatiently to find out where things go in The Path of Ra Book 2.