The Legend of Beka Cooper #1. Author: Tamora Pierce.
Beka Cooper is a rookie with the law-enforcing Provost’s Guard, commonly known as “the Provost’s Dogs,” in Corus, the capital city of Tortall. She’s assigned to work with Mattes and Clary, famed veterans among the Provost’s Dogs. They’re tough, they’re capable, and they’re none too happy about the indignity of being saddled with a puppy for the first time in years. Beka learns of someone in the Lower City who has overturned the power structure of the underworld and is terrorizing its citizens into submission and silence. Beka’s magical listening talent is the only way for the Provost’s Dogs to find out the identity of this brutal new underlord, for the dead are beyond fear. And the ranks of the dead will be growing if the Dogs can’t stop a crime wave the likes of which has never been seen. Luckily for the people of the Lower City, the new puppy is a true terrier!
I really liked the main character, who was strong, realistic, and well-rounded, although she had just a hint of over-powering because she was so good at her work so fast. I also like how the city was fleshed out and the police force seemed realistic. Overall I really enjoyed it, although I also wished there was less innuendo.
Sexual content: Woman opens door in her shift, behind her a man is visible getting dressed. Woman also basically says she was sleeping with a different man before leaving him. Beka says she “tried the whole boy thing once, it was all right”. Man threatens to rape girl. Repeated thoughts on the part of the main character that she will not “join his girls” about a handsome man whom she rather likes but who seems to already be involved with two girls.
Language: 2 scatological terms, 6 derogatory terms.
Violence: Various fights in which people are knocked out, get broken arms/fingers/ribs, knowledge that children have been killed, (she talks to their ghosts) indirect accounting of seventeen men being stabbed/poisoned, one man and one girl are killed in the police force.