I’m ashamed to admit how long it’s taken me to read this book. So long, in fact, that Kindle had an upgrade while I was at it, and I had to download a whole new version of their e-reader. And it’s only a handful of short stories. Imagine what I’d be like with a novel!
Seriously, I do tend to read digital books slowly, but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy them. In this case, I had a blast. Paul D Brazill’s collection of stories, centred around a private investigator who’s a werewolf in his spare time (or should that be the other way round?) are tremendous fun. That might sound like a strange description for such obviously noir writing, but it’s true. The stories are a rip-roaring roller-coaster of monsters and mobsters, booze and guts, and (of course) the obligatory femmes fatales.
The setting intrigued me. Described only as The City throughout, it had elements of 1940s America overlain with something distinctly post-modernist and European. Smoke, mist and grungy bars vied with fine buildings and squares. Mostly, the grunge won.
My own favourite story was probably the last one in the collection, the prequel ‘Before the Moon Falls’, if only because it was good to go back and see where the story started. But if you’re looking for a good dose of traditional ‘private investigator’ paired with an unhealthy seasoning of werewolves, zombies and clones, then the rest of the collection ain’t bad either.