The Green Man's Heir - Juliet E. McKenna

Anyone who's read my reviews for a while will know that I'm not a massive fan of first person but this book was recommended to me and it was on sale, so I went for it anyway. I'd also got bored with urban fantasy, which isn't quite a label for this story (since it's set in the countryside) but there isn't a rural fantasy tag so we'll make do...

 

The Green Man's Heir is set in the present day, except that the creatures of British folklore are real and some people can see them, usually if they have a touch of what the author calls 'the wildwood blood' in their ancestry somewhere. In the case of Daniel, our protagonist, it's in the previous generation with his mother being a dryad, which comes with its own hazards in terms of women pretty much throwing themselves at him and a lack of background that makes moving around attractive.

 

The latter proves a problem when Daniel stumbles into a crime scene in the woods near where he's currently living, woods also inhabited by a dryad who thinks he should get involved in stopping what's responsible for this and a previous murder. Being somewhat itinerant and in the wrong place at the wrong time, Daniel finds himself dragged into the murder investigation whether he wants it or not, with all the repercussions for his privacy of the social media age. 

 

That situation proves to be the first of two supernatural issues Daniel faces in The Green Man's Heir, as the dryad in question has come from somewhere else and Daniel is keen to meet others like him. That search leads him to another situation, meeting someone who is like him in many ways (since she can see the creatures he can) but without, I'm glad to say, taking a lazy route into instalove in the way so many authors would have been unable to resist. Through shared adversity, Daniel and Eleanor become friends and he's clearly hopeful it will turn into more, but a relationship at this point would have been too obvious. 

 

All of this is set in a part of the world I'm very familiar with, though I'm not completely convinced with how easily Daniel seems able to get hold of takeaway food at odd hours of the day or night - the kind of places in question aren't still necessarily so cosmopolitan! Anyway, it kept me turning the pages and if there's a sequel, I will definitely pick it up, so who can ask for more?