Harm None: A Rowan Gant Investigation, by M. R. Sellars
Willow Tree Press, 0967822106, 368 pp.
Harm None is a pagan detective fiction book, with a refreshing twist. The pagan isn’t the detective. He’s a consultant for the police. Not only does is he consulted on the images, but he becomes a spiritual medium that can give the police clues to the murders.
What I find most refreshing about this book is that the author notifies readers at the very beginning that there are intentional grammatical errors, purposely included, because as the author notes, no one he knows (or I know) speaks perfect grammatical English. By no means however should the reader of this review think that the author has made tons of grammatical errors. While I think some of the grammatical errors could be cut down on, I do also think that they do make the speech of the character more believable.
The plot for this book is excellent. The dealings with the police seem to be accurate and at the same time the character of the story is not some omnipotent magi. Rather while the main character is a practitioner of magic, he is nonetheless who acknowledges the need to learn and hone skills as well as how terrifying it can be to have an ability and not necessarily have full control of it. The supporting characters for the story are believable, from the skeptical police friend to the villain. Some of the ethical ramifications of magical acts are also explored.
This is a book that is written from the perspective of a Wiccan practitioner of magic, so some fields or practices of magic are not included or represented. It would be interesting to see how the main character would interact with a chaos magician. Overall though the book is an excellent read, which will keep you up into the early hours of the morning, turning pages and waiting to see what next happens to Rowan Grant.