Created by Laurie R. King
"Interesting fact... some of the myths about salamanders are true."
Hard-boiled private eye MIKE HELLER is one gumshoe who would rather keep his private life private, in Laurie R. King's "Hellbender," a chilling little short story set in the near future where the results of some clandestine genetic experiements involving humans and other species (notably salamanders) that were conducted several years ago have finally come home to roost. The by-products of those experiements are now adults, and intolerance and ignorance are still very much with us.
Mike's hired by the beguiling Liz Savoy who's worried about her brother, one of those "SalaMen," who's gone missing.
It's a nicely done story -- the fantasy/horror elements meshing nicely with what at first seems like a pretty straightforward detective story, with the brooding melancholia and tempered compassion so common to detective fiction folding nicely into an unexpectedly moving tale of prejudice, treachery and paranoia.
Laurie R. King is, of course, the Edgar-winning author of the Mary Russell mysteries about a young woman who becomes the apprentice of a very-much retired Sherlock Holmes.
A listing of fantasy & occult eyes. Suffice it to say that we're definitely not in Kansas anymore...
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.
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