HarperCollins, Oct 11 2011, $25.99
Ankh-Morpork City Watch Commander Sam Vimes faces his most difficult assignment in years. His Grace Sir Samuel, the Duke of Ankh, will spend two torturious weeks rusticating with his wife Sybil and their six years old son Young Sam at her family’s estate. Sam loves the idea of spending time with his beloved spouse and son, but his in-laws make a boring vacation worse and not worth changing from his cardboard soles.
However, life picks up as Vimes quickly gets involved with the locals when someone brutally murders a female goblin. Feeney the inexperienced local copper and Willikens the gentleman’s gentleman assist Vimes as he works vacation time for no pay investigating the homicide.
The latest Discworld satire (see I Shall Wear Midnight) is a wonderful entry that looks deeply at inalienable human (and other species) rights and bigotry to take away those accepted rights. Fast-paced Vimes is at his cynical best as he learns life in the country means a female woodcutter works with woodies and that rural does not mean crime free; as he leads the inquiry into the vicious murder of the Goblin Girl. Terry Pratchett provides a strong entry filled with social commentary intertwined into an exciting thriller.