Friday, November 25, 2016

Short Fiction Friday: Hammers on Bone by Cassandra Khaw

John Persons's latest client is a doozy: a feisty ten-year-old who wants the PI to kill his stepfather for him. The boy says the stepfather is abusive, which John has no trouble imagining, and if John doesn't help, the boy's younger brother will most certainly be killed.

Of course it's the boy's claim that his stepdad is a monster that really cements the deal. See, John Persons isn't quite human himself and monsters are a bit of a specialty for him.

Cassandra Khaw's latest is a noir tinged mystery steeped in Lovecraftian lore. And it's cool!

This London is just a tad bit off from the "real" London. Here, monsters are real. They inhabit everyday people and evade the notice of anyone who isn't like them. But Persons IS like them. He can see them, and is all too aware that they're up to no good.

The prose of the tale is all noir - the cadence and the tone. It makes the story feel dark and grey, even beyond any outright description used by Khaw. And of course I love the melding of genres - mystery, sci-fi, and horror. It's all foggy atmosphere and dark tentacley creepiness! The perfect kind of cross genre tale - one that gets under your skin and invades your thoughts even when you're not inside it's pages.

I sincerely hope this is just the first of many John Persons stories. The world of Hammers on Bone is one I would love to spend more time in - and soon! (Of course, there's always Rupert Wong to tide me over and I do plan on checking that world of Khaw's out very shortly).

Rating: 4/5

1 comment:

Jennifer | Book Den said...

This sounds like a perfect read for me! I may read this next!