Forge, Nov 2001, 27.95, 463 pp.
Life stinks if you ask former private detective Mick “Brew” Axbrewder. The accidental killing of his brother years ago will always haunt Brew, a recovering alcoholic. Brew's former partner his beloved Ginny Fistoulari has barely been civil to him since he killed his sibling. He understands why Ginny loathes him, but all Brew wants is another chance to redeem what is left of his life even if Ginny is never at his side again.
While Ginny finds work with another sleuth, an apprehensive Brew accepts a security job at martial arts tournament. Surprisingly, at least to Brew, is how deep two rival schools hate each other as both claim ownership of antique Chinese print blocks containing martial art poses. When someone is killed, Brew believes the murder is associated with the valuable blocks, but struggles to uncover whom committed murder.
In the fourth “The Man Who” series, Stephen Donaldson provides quite an antihero battling his own problems in a seemingly futile attempt to salvage his scarred soul. The who-done-It of THE MAN WHO FOUGHT ALONE engages the audience though the culprit seems obvious relatively early into the plot. Still, readers will relish this tale because Brew's quest for redemption makes his efforts to solve the murder quite appealing to readers in this terse private investigator thriller.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner