I think this was a case where the book had received so much hype that I was bound to be disappointed when faced with the reality. I saw another reviewer described it as magic-noir and that is a perfect description because upon reading the first few chapters you feel as if you've been transported into a [a:Mickey Spillane|50948|Mickey Spillane|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1318950096p2/50948.jpg] story. It was totally unexpected and not a welcome direction for me because I'm not a fan of crime novels after having OD'd on that genre back in the 90's.I liked the premise and Harry is an interesting character although I probably would have liked him better if the author had spent some time building up his character and giving us some back story to explain why everyone was out to get him. He just couldn't catch a break. The secondary characters were the classic archetypes of the crime genre. There was the hard-ass female detective with a heart of gold, her magic-sceptical partner, the pushy, sultry reporter who uses her cleavage (in a very Jessica Rabbit moment) to get her stories, and the wise, taciturn bar tender. I couldn't fathom Murphy's (the detective) actions at all. She was so psychotically aggressive towards Harry, even handcuffing him during the final scenes after he had just saved her from a killer scorpion??? Why?? Dumb broad! If she becomes a romantic interest for Harry in future books I won't be happy. I didn't take to her at all.By about 40% the world building picks up and I enjoyed the light plot and Harry's bad-ass moments blowing away his foes. Harry's responses and interactions with women leaned heavily on the misogynistic sleazy side. All in all he didn't really capture my heart but maybe that's because I prefer the kick-ass UF heroine trope over a downbeat, put-upon, chauvinistic wizard. I will probably read the other books in the series but I might wait for the high price to go down.