Wake of the Bloody Angel is the fourth novel in Alex Bledsoe’s EDDIE LACROSSE MYSTERIES series. Like its predecessors, it crosses traditional noir crime fiction with well-known tropes from fantasy literature. Not an easy thing to do well, I’d think, but Alex Bledsoe makes it work. In the previous novels, we’ve met some manifestation of Epona the horse goddess, Rhiannon from the Mabinogi, dragons, and the Arthurian Legends. I’m not going to tell you who/what we meet in Wake of the Bloody Angel because that would spoil the big mystery — I’ll just say I didn’t see it coming.
This time, Eddie is hired by Angelina, the beautiful middle-aged woman who owns the tavern below Eddie’s office, to find her old lover — a pirate she hasn’t seen in 20 years. Eddie and Jane, a buxom swordswoman who’s an ex-pirate-turned-pirate-hunter, set out on the high seas to find him. Needless to say, they find a lot more than they bargained for.
If you’ve liked Bledsoe’s crime/fantasy mashups before, you’ll be pleased with this latest installment. Eddie LaCrosse continues to be a terrific hero — he’s mature (a nice change from the naïve farmboy with a Destiny), masculine, smart, and tough, but he’s also gentle and caring. If anything, Eddie’s a little too noble to be believed at times, but I adore him. Each of the EDDIE LACROSSE books is well-paced, well-plotted, and has just the right amount of humor to ease the tension. Wake of the Bloody Angel has a healthy dose of horror, too.
Tor picked up Alex Bledsoe after his first novel was so well received, but this is a series that I insist on reading in audio format (Blackstone Audio) because I’ve got a crush on Stefan Rudnicki, the narrator. His voice is absolutely perfect for Eddie LaCrosse and, once again, he delivers an excellent performance with Wake of the Bloody Angel.
Each of the EDDIE LACROSSE MYSTERIES can stand alone, but if you have the opportunity to read them in order, that would be ideal.