Take a helping of Dashiell Hammett, add the zest of Gillian Fylnn and sprinkle some China Miéville for kicks and you’ll get something that comes out like Cassandra Khaw’s novella, Hammers on Bone. However, the flawed gumshoe in this tale is no Continental Op, he’s something otherworldly with a supernatural touch for gathering information and yet, just another slave to the buck.
This story is lightning fast, unravelling about as quickly as possible without forsaking any color to the prose, and there is color here. Acerbic would probably cover it when describing the style, a style adopted quite frequently over the last decade or two. It fits wholly with this tale. A tale that inches toward a modernized hardboiled shootout, though takes a turn before it ventures into the fields of been there done that to a place where old gods linger behind the scenes pulling strings and messing with the locals.
There are bumps and mysteries, there are tugs at the emotions and bouts with suspense, all of it done well and to the point. I am impressed, this was a story I started and finished in single sitting (took my slowish self about 1.75 hours to read). It truly is a lot of fun and leaves nothing but a good taste in my mouth and saltwater scents in the air. A full-bodied success, I look forward to the continuation.