Poison Fruit by Jacqueline Carey

(Agent of Hel, #3)

The Pemkowet Visitors Bureau has always promoted paranormal tourism—even if it has downplayed the risks (hobgoblins are unpredictable). It helps that the town is presided over by Daisy Johanssen, who as Hel’s liaison is authorized by the Norse goddess of the dead to keep Pemkowet under control. Normally, that’s easier to do in the winter, when bracing temperatures keep folks indoors.

But a new predator is on the prowl, and this one thrives on nightmares. Daisy is on her trail and working intimately with her partner and sometime lover from the Pemkowet PD, sexy yet unavailable werewolf Cody Fairfax. But even as the creature is racking up innocent victims, a greater danger looms on Pewkowet’s horizon.

As a result of a recent ghost uprising, an unknown adversary—represented by a hell-spawn lawyer with fiery powers of persuasion—has instigated a lawsuit against the town. If Pemkowet loses, Hel’s sovereignty will be jeopardized, and the fate of the eldritch community will be at stake. The only one who can prevent it is Daisy—but she’s going to have to confront her own worst nightmare to do it.

"He laughed. It wasn't a full-on villainous mwah-ha-ha, but it was close."

As the last book in the series in the trilogy, it was the weakest of the group, but still enjoyable.

If I could rate the book in sections, I'd give it a 3 for the first half, a solid half the last. I'll be generous and give an overall four.

The beginning held on to a decently woven storyline that was building steam, but it was weighed down by too much relationship angst. That could have been cut in half, and there still would have been enough of it to go around. It felt like the third book was mainly to focus on the relationship for Daisy and who she'd eventually end up with.

The first two books rocked with action notes, but this one saved it for the end. The finale battle was epic - it not only was a worthy showdown amongst creative villains that pulled in all the Norse mythology the series was created over, but it joined almost all major characters in the series together for the battle. It also finally answers what happens if Daisy is too tempted to succumb to the ultimate temptation, perhaps forever changing the life of herself and others. I won't spoil things, but let's just say there are surprises that pop up, making it tense-filled and exciting.

Daisy is an excellent heroine - she's funny, witty, strong, sympathetic, relate-able, exciting and different. Stefan still sizzles on page but some of his steam has weakened. Cody is still there as a solid rock foundation. Minor characters such as co-workers, relatives and friends, are all there to continue solidifying strong world-building Carey has created.

Ultimately I'm pleased with the turn-out for everybody. She ends up with who I figured she would, everything makes sense, dangling threads have been tied, and the world is a better place in the end. Kind of. Well, it will be maybe. Kind of like real life works after all, with no fairy tale happy endings but the plausible peace that ebbs and flows.

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