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Burning water by Mercedes Lackey

Burning water (edition 1989)

by Mercedes Lackey

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1,233226,447 (3.49)21
Title:Burning water
Authors:Mercedes Lackey
Info:New York : Tom Doherty Associates, c1989.
Collections:Read but unowned, 2008 books read
Tags:sff, paranormal, mystery

Work details

Burning Water by Mercedes Lackey

Recently added byWonderlandGrrl, GanneC, Anniezp, Gingermama, private library, ewillse, SF_fan_mae, sushicat, what3never

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Diana Tegarde is a witch and helps the police with cases that have occult facets. In this case she is invited to Texas to help investigate a series of murders that result in hearts being removed and the corpse left with flowers around it. The body count is going up and up and Diana seeks help from every type of mystic living in the area until she is able to reach a bruja who points her towards an Aztec god trying to return to the living to avenge the decimation of his people. ( )
  mamzel | Oct 7, 2014 |
I'm not normally into mysteries or detective novels, but I really enjoyed this one. Rather than rely on a plot trick to hide the true mystery, this is more about how the main character will use her skills to get to the bottom of the problem, no matter what. Enjoyable and hard to put down. ( )
  Karlstar | Sep 23, 2014 |
I am so bored by this book! They never do anything, just sit around and talk about the case or how great Di is. The only action is from a victim's perspective, usually a loser or a jerk or both so I don't even care about them. It's also ridiculous how quickly a small Texas town Sheriff accepts her. And if I see just one more word unnecessarily italicized I shall go batty!

( )
  maybedog | Apr 5, 2013 |
I am so bored by this book! They never do anything, just sit around and talk about the case or how great Di is. The only action is from a victim's perspective, usually a loser or a jerk or both so I don't even care about them. It's also ridiculous how quickly a small Texas town Sheriff accepts her. And if I see just one more word unnecessarily italicized I shall go batty!

( )
  maybedog | Apr 5, 2013 |
Mercedes Lackey admitted to writing the Diana Tregarde books because paranormal investigations were big at the time and she had no problem with making a little cash by playing the fads. I'm glad that she did, because although the series isn't fantastic, it's still very entertaining to read through. In this one, Diana is called upon to help with a police investigation of a serial murder, and ends up getting tangled up in the middle of a plot to resurrect ancient Aztec gods into modern-day (or relatively modern, at least) Dallas.

I admit, it's a little disconcerting to read Burning Water and seeing the remarkably un-PC language used throughout. References to "Indians", "krauts", and "gypsies" are littered through the pages, terms which people don't tend to use anymore unless they want to get glared at on the street and called ignorant. Sometimes I had to make myself take a step back and remember that this was all written before PC language was really coming into its heyday, and such terms, while not perfectly acceptable, were still in more common use, and so in context, it's not that unusual to see them mentioned.

That being said, the attitude towards paganism as a relgion as expressed in the novel is rather ahead of its time, given that even today, 20 years later, some people still don't have that level of understanding when it comes to non-Abrahamic religions. The idea that there's no one true way seems to be a common theme in Lackey's work, though, and so it was no surprise to see it echoed here.

The writing style is still very early-Lackey, lacking some of the polish she attained with more practice, though it still shows a lot of promise of what's to come, all the good bits that I like about her writing. True to style, too, it's a rather large amount of build-up, finding the pieces of the puzzle, and a then a relatively short period of high-action tense conclusion at the end.

Burning Water's ending was interesting because although there was a conclusion to the immediate problem, it was still remarkably open-ended and unfinished. The immediate resurrection plot ends, but the god is not destroyed, not even really defeated or even daunted, and the reader is left with a slight feeling of incompletion. Which, I have no doubt, was the entire point. The battle was won, but the war goes on, and when one is dealing with things on a scale as grand as gods, you often can't expect much better at the end.

Definitely a book worth reading if you're into Lackey's work or you enjoy a good paranormal investigation that doesn't get bogged down in being overly dark and gritty. ( )
  Bibliotropic | Dec 31, 2010 |
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Dedicated to Mary Jean and J. R. Holmes, who gave Diana a place to grow up
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Lupe sobbed harshly, her voice muffled, as if smothered by the darkness all around her.
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Book description

    First it attacked the cattle, leaving bloody, mutilated corpses. Now it's going after people, men, women, even children - dozens at a time.

The police have few clues - some scraps of leather, a few feathers, scattered flower petals. Lots of bodies. And an aura of unstoppable evil.

Detective Mark Valdez feels that evil. He's dealt with the occult before, and he knows he's in over his head. So he calls in a specialist.

Diana Tregarde, Romance novelist. Investigator of unnatural events, Practicing witch. if anyone can determined what malevolent power is loose in Dallas, she can.

Power calls to power. Will Diana be an avenging angel or a willing sacrifice?


He'd chased her through the library, up onto the roof. then he'd challenged her, drawing a power-glyph in the air - and though he wasn't the chief force behind the killings. Di knew the challenge could not go unanswered.

He spread his hands wide, then clapped them otgether - and she had a split second to decide if the snarling thing with the head of a jaguar and the wings of a bird was real or illusion.

Becuase if she guessed wrong, she was dead ...
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0812524853, Mass Market Paperback)

Dallas Police Detective Mark Valdez isn't just any cop, he's a psychic who knows that the cattle mutilations and torture murders he's been investigating are somehow tied together. He also knows that his meager psychic abilities aren't enough to identify the killers, much less stop them.
Luckily, Mark has an ace up his sleeve: an attractive young romance novelist who happens to be a practicing witch. And not just any witch, either-Diana Tregarde is a Guardian, charged with protecting the Earth and all its creatures.
Using modern science and ancient magics, Diana and Mark discover that they are tailing no ordinary serial killer but the awakened avatar of an Aztec god. Tezcatlipoca and his four beautiful handmaidens are preparing for a great sacrifice that will transform North America into a new Aztec realm.
Diana isn't sure her powers are strong enough to take on those of a risen Aztec god, but she has no choice. As a Guardian, she is sworn to protect mankind, even at the cost of her own life. Luckily, she does not stand alone. Mark Valdez is more than just a cop. And Tezcatlipoca is not the only Aztec god walking in the world.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:59 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Discovering that local cattle mutilations and a series of ritualistic murders are the work of a risen Aztec god, Guardian witch Diana Tregarde and psychic police detective Mark Valdez team up to protect the human race. By the author of Children of the Night.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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