Burning Water by Mercedes Lackey
While Mercedes Lackey may be best known for her Heralds of Valdemar Fantasy series, this prolific American author has a wealth of other books including two that border on the Suspense/Horror realm of fiction. Burning Water is the first novel about Diana Tregarde, writer of Romance novels, Wiccan and undercover Paranormal Investigator. When strange deaths begin occurring in Dallas, Texas, Diana’s former college friend and police detective, Mark Valdez, calls her in to help. It has been years since Mark was part of Tregarde’s Spook Squad, but both of them are soon embroiled in a tangled web of Occult powers, sinister attacks and grizzly death scenes as they race to uncover who or what is behind all these crimes.
The strength of Lackey’s stories lies in the richness of her characters. They feel like real people, with all their virtues and failings. Diana Tregarde is an intriguing, powerful female character who has a strong sense of self and a confidence with her life choices. This book great reading for anyone who has ever wondered if they will ever fit in to “normal” society or anyone who has dreamed of something just beyond the ordinary.
Burning Water does contain fairly graphic descriptions of crime scenes and mutilations, which earned it the Tor Horror category designation, but it is no worse than any episode of CSI or crime show on television right now. We’ve become a little less sensitive to violence in the last 23 years… which isn’t necessarily a good thing.
Paperback format, 314 pages, published in 1989 by Tor Books