The Foundation, a secretive government agency, collects people who have magical powers and puts them to work for minimum wage. They are tasked with keeping evil magic users under control while ensuring that normal people don’t find out that magic exists.
In Good Guys (2018) we follow three of these folks: Donovan, Susan “Hippie Chick,” and Marci. At the Foundation’s direction, they are working together to investigate a string of magical murders which are getting progressively more gruesome and seem to have a particular end-game in mind. Donovan, Susan, and Marci investigate crime scenes, find clues, make deductions (and huge leaps of logic), and attempt to find and stop the killer before the killer gets them.
This is all very dangerous and they don’t get a lot of support (or pay) from the bureaucratic organization they work for. They are aware that there is another related agency that works to foil the Foundation’s work, and is probably directing the string of murders. What’s confusing to our protagonists, though, is that the people who are being murdered are bad guys. So, if the killer is killing bad guys and they are ordered to kill the killer…. Who are the good guys? Donovan, Susan, and Marci are starting to wonder. As readers, Brust also gives us the perspective of the murderer who, not surprisingly, thinks he’s the good guy.
Good Guys was a pleasant read but, in the end, didn’t leave much impression on me. I was hoping that some of the things I love about Steven Brust’s VLAD TALTOS books — fascinating world, unique voice of the protagonist — would be found here, but I can’t say that they are. I like Brust’s good guys well enough, but I don’t really care that much if I never encounter them again. Same with the plot. It entertained me for a few hours, but I doubt I’ll remember much about it at this time next year.
The audiobook version was published by Tantor Audio and narrated by Kevin T. Collins. I liked his performance. The audiobook is 9.5 hours long.
Even reading your review, I sighed when I say “Hippie Chick” as a character nickname. It seemed too easy. I’m a little disappointed, but this review reminds me that I have several Vlad adventures left to read and they’d be perfect for fall.