cover image Red Delicious

Red Delicious

Kathleen Tierney. Roc, $16 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-0-451-41653-7

Gritty urban fantasy meets old-fashioned noir in this high-octane sequel to Blood Oranges. The ever-bellicose Siobhan Quinn%E2%80%94a witty, worldly, pop-culture%E2%80%93savvy, and profane antihero%E2%80%94is both vampire and werewolf, which hasn't derailed her career hunting supernatural "nasties." She's increasingly frustrated with the status quo of feeding on outcasts while remaining at her employer's beck and call. Quinn (never call her Siobhan) is sent to track down the missing daughter of a renowned local necromancer, only to become embroiled in a situation that is far more complicated and dangerous than she realizes. The plot, which centers on a search for a missing magical artifact, borrows explicitly from old noir stories, and Kiernan manages to also make it relevant to her frequently reprinted "The Maltese Unicorn," though the story's inclusion here feels forced. Nonetheless, Quinn, her compatriots, and the setting remain entirely original. While this lacks some of the freshness of the first book, fans are sure to enjoy it all the same. (Feb.)