One Killer Debut
By Phillipa Bornikova
Tor, $14.99, 318 pages
If you are looking for a new series to begin, run (don’t walk) to the nearest bookstore and get This Case is Gonna Kill Me. In her debut novel, author Phillipa Bornikova has created a dynamic female protagonist out to find justice in a world filled with ruthlessness. Linnet Ellery is the newest lawyer at her firm. She is assigned to what appears to be a routine case, but after people start dying, Linnet realizes she is possibly in way over her head. Now she is a target and there are few people she can turn to for help or protection. Thirty years ago, vampires, elves and werewolves (aka the “Powers”) went public and now run every aspect of society. Linnet must find a way to break into their elite hierarchy before it is too late.
Bornikova’s work adds spice and flare to the urban fantasy genre. She has created her own unique mythology. Not all of the book’s mysteries are solved by the end – there are plenty of goodies left to find out about in the next book, including more about the Seelie Court. Linnet is intelligent, super likable, tough and complex. But she isn’t perfect. She makes mistakes, but she learns from them. Rather than seeking revenge, Linnet seeks justice as the story’s locale switches between Manhattan and New England. This Case is Gonna Kill Me successfully mixes urban fantasy and legal thriller.
Reviewed by Kathryn Franklin