A Hard Day's Knight
Simon R. Green
Ace, Jan 4 2011, $25.95
In the Nightside, private investigator John Taylor obtains the legendary Excalibur though he is unsure why Arthur’s sword has been sent to him by the Post. He does not want the blade partly because he knows his heart is not worthy of such a weapon. On the other hand, he knows in Nightside he is much more worthy than probably everyone else. Still he believes the blade needs safe keeping. He feels strongly, though he would prefer not to, venture into London Proper to deliver Excalibur to the London Knights, the Last Defenders of Camelot.
However, John’s enemies wait in ambush to kill him, steal the legend, or preferably both. Although unsure how his adversaries know, John and his lover Shotgun Suzie, the bounty hunter Valkyrie, who when it comes to dead or alive always brings them in dead. They begin the deadly trek. They remain ignorant to the significance of what they do as his destiny is to prevent a potentially end of the world war and that a traitor amidst the London Knights has sold his soul to gain power by giving the sword to malevolent beasts.
This is a super refreshing Nightside entry starting with the double edged title as the quest takes place during A Hard Day’s Night while the other reference is obvious. Side allusions are a consistent fun part of a Simon R. Green urban fantasy as the author has done repeatedly with this saga and the Secret History series. The story line is fast-paced and loaded with action as the foes have the numbers and the weapons, but John knows he has his beloved “Oh Christ, It’s Her, Run” watching his back in London’s Nightside and Proper.