Book Review: Kat Richardson’s Underground

Posted December 9, 2011 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Kat Richardson’s Underground



Kat Richardson

urban fantasy that was published by ROC Hardcover on August 5, 2008 and has 344 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Mean Streets, Greywalker, Poltergeist, Vanished, Labyrinth, Downpour, Seawitch, Possession, Revenant, Indigo

Third in the Greywalker urban fantasy series about a private investigator, Harper Blaine, who can enter a fold of the universe that infringes between the normal and the paranormal.

My Take

An interesting exploration of homeless and Northwest Indian cultures combined with a tour of the old underground of Seattle. Richardson does state that she took liberties with Seattle’s sunken city but if only one quarter of it is accurate…wow! Be sure to take the tour if you ever get out to Seattle. It sounds fascinating!

We learn a great deal more about Quinton‘s background and his real name this time as well as where/how he lives. That was unexpected. Even as Quinton and Harper engage in a little personal exploration.

I am definitely enjoying Richardson’s storytelling…she is never boring! I certainly enjoyed her description of Quinton’s secret lair, but then I have a fascination with alternative living.

The Story

An unexpected encounter with a hairy man-thing and a zombie freaks Will out starting the downhill slide to his and Harper’s relationship while too many unexplained deaths and disappearances among Seattle’s homeless is worrying Quinton. A disaffection with government agencies has caused Quinton to disappear himself from the regular world, and he now identifies with the disenfranchised.

Between the homeless peoples’ possible hallucinations and natural paranoia, determining the truth is difficult. Harper’s meetings with Edward and Carlos are useless. They don’t know anything, and since it’s outside their particular and narrow spheres of interest, they’re not interested in helping. It falls to Ella Graham, a Salish elder, to provide the final clues that enable Harper and Quinton with Ben’s linguistic help to resolve these serial murders.

The Characters

Harper Blaine died for several minutes, an act which forged a connection with the Grey, that slice of other that exists between the normal and the paranormal. Now she finds her caseload divided, unevenly, between those cases which involve the supernatural and those that are sane, cases she struggles to survive with that bum knee that resulted from events in Poltergeist. Will Novak, the antiques expert, is her sort of boyfriend.

Mara and Ben Danziger are fascinated by Harper’s abilities in the Grey. Mara uses her witchy powers in aid while Ben contributes his knowledge of the mystical. Albert, their resident ghost, gets exposed when his underhanded plans for the Danzigers’ son Brian are discovered.

Reuben Arthur “Fish” Fishkiller works in the morgue. Ella Graham is something of a shaman to whom Fish introduces Harper who provides the missing pieces about the snake-like monster lurking underground; Ella provides Harper with a most useful tool. Detective Rey Solis is investigating the dismembered bodies of the homeless and is not very happy that Harper keeps showing up on the fringes.

Zip is a homeless man whose Zippo lighter was used by the poltergeist to attack Harper. Other homeless include Lassiter “Lass” who swaps a radio for a Taser-like device built by Quinton, Tanker and his dog Bella, Jenny Nin, Grandpa Dan, Sandy, Tandy, John Bear, Jolene, Go-cart, Hafiz, Felix, and Tall Grass.

Edward Kammerling is the head of the vampires in Seattle; Carlos is a vampire and necromancer who runs an adult fantasy store and currently mentoring Cameron in how to be a vampire; and, Lady Gwendolyn of Anorexia is putting some meat on her bones.

Sisiutl and Qamaits are a pairing in Salish culture. Fern Laguire is an agent with the NSA who is about to retire, but she wants to retire with a clean record. If she can bring Quinton back into the fold any way she can, she’ll be happy.

The Cover and Title

The cover is a black and copper metallic background with Harper dark against it in her black clothing and long coat. The title is accurate enough as the monster is from and affects those who live Underground.