Friday, September 17, 2021

Hammers on Bone (Persons Non Grata #1), by Cassandra Khaw, ISBN 9780765392701, October 2016

As all faithful readers of this blog know, I don't read horror.

Except when I do.

This is Tor's free download for September, and it features a P.I., and a kid who wants his stepdad killed. His stepdad is an abusive, literally, a monster.

Which is what makes John Persons, P.I., right for the job. He's a P.I. right out of the noir era, and that's because he's a monster, too, and the intelligence keeping the body alive and working is way older than anything as recent as the noir era.

So, reluctantly, Persons agrees to take the case, with the promise of being paid with the contents of the boy's piggy bank.

But as he meets the boy's mother, and stepdad, and the foreman where the stepdad works, and the young woman who manages a little hole in the wall restaurant he likes, it's clear there's something odd here, odder than just things like himself, who aren't the Great Old Ones, but are probably closely related, hanging around and messing with people.

It's tricky and dangerous, and there just might be a double-cross in here somewhere.

Khaw keeps Persons believably in line with his chosen noir persona, as everything around him is a grubby part of 21st century London, and keeps the reader guessing about what, exactly, is really going on. An entertaining read.

This is, as I said above, Tor's free download for this month, and I am reviewing it voluntarily.

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