Cops shows, everyone loves cop shows. What makes the stories of Hawk and Fisher different is that while they are cops (well sergeants in the City Guard), rather than science and guns you have sorcery and swords. You see the world created by author Simon R Green, inhabited by Hawk and Fisher is one where magic (of the flash bang whiz type) works and criminals are just as likely to be demons as they are people.


Set in the sprawling city-state of Haven, Hawk and his wife Isabel Fisher are sergeants in the City Guard. Unlike the majority of guardsmen, both Hawk and Fisher are honest; they believe in the law and are not for sale. This means that while they are very good at their job, they are not the most popular of people, except by the honest population, who are at least rumoured to exist somewhere, in Haven. Fisher is unusual in that as well as being a woman; she is also the best sword wielder in the city. Her husband, Hawk however prefers to rely on his axe, as due to circumstances that are revealed in one of the books (read them coz I aint saying) he has lost an eye. Neither of them are particularly happy to rely on magic, and would much rather grab their suspect by the collar and ask them to confess, and if the suspect just happens to be a demon or even a god, well that makes no difference to the law.

The tale of Hawk and Fisher currently spreads over four books, two of which are collections of stories. It is these short stories that comprise the majority of our heroes’ legend, but things change dramatically in the, so far, final book – Beyond the Blue Moon. The chronological sequence to read the books is:


Blue Moon Rising (novel)

Haven of Lost Souls (collection)

Fear and Loathing in Haven (collection)

Beyond the Blue Moon (novel)


However I think the best way to read them is the way that I read them, that is to read the two collections first then Blue Moon Rising and finally Beyond the Blue Moon. I say this because Blue Moon Rising, while crucial to the story of Hawk and Fisher (and I won’t spoil things by saying why) sees very little of either sergeant, while Beyond the Blue Moon is both a sequel to Blue Moon Rising and also ties up the Haven stories.


So what makes Hawk and Fisher such a good read? Simply the way that both characters are portrayed, and of course, the unusual idea of combining High Fantasy with hard boiled cops. Of course nowadays this idea is also being explored in the Discworld series, but still Hawk and Fisher have a place of honour on my bookshelf.


One point of caution, at least some of the collected stories are available, or have been available separately and to add even further confusion to the mix, the US titles of both the collections and the short stories have been known to vary. It is so confusing that a certain well know online bookstore has been offering a set of two books (you know the procedure: buy this one and that one both for £££) except on checking it turns out both books are the same; one is the UK original and the other the US reprint, its just the titles that are different (yes even the covers are the same). In the words of Homer J Simpson; “D’oh!”