Monday, October 22, 2007

The Unnatural Inquirer-Simon R. Green

The Unnatural Inquirer
Simon R. Green
Ace, Jan 2008, $21.95
ISBN 9780441015580

In Nightside, Pen Donavon insists he owns a DVD that contains a recording of the afterlife. He obviously is convincing that he has such proof because THE UNNATURAL INQUIRER signs a deal with him; then again many of Nightside’s shadowy residents would point out that the publication is a tabloid so proof is too strong an assertion.

However, not long after Donavon pens his deal with the scandal rag, he vanishes. With civil war possible over who governs the Nightside, the competing powers search for Donavon and his DVD as the latter might give an edge to the group possessing it. Assassinations become the norm as each of the rivals murders their opponents. Private investigator John Taylor, accompanied by half-demon reporter Bettie Divine, search for Donavon a bit differently than anyone else as he figures the best way to find the missing individual is to focus on who abducted him, which means why and not necessarily to own the DVD, but perhaps destroy the DVD to eliminate incriminating evidence.

The eighth Nightside paranormal private investigator mystery is a fabulous often amusing tale as once again Taylor is working a difficult case because of the homicidal amateurs fogging up the already murky atmosphere. However, with his usual aplomb and the beautiful Halfbreed humanized she-demon with him every step of the killing fields, Taylor navigates the eerie otherworld center of London in which one mistakes means HELL TO PAY for the hero. Simon R. Green continues to provide novel mysteries in a strange otherworld.

Harriet Klausner

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