Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Unnatural Inquirer - Simon R. Green

The Unnatural Inquirer
A Novel of the Nightside
Simon R. Green


For those unfamiliar, the Nightside is a hidden, magical part of London. It’s always night there. And it’s populated by everything you’ve ever heard of, a lot you’ve never heard of, and some thing you wish you hadn’t. John Taylor is a PI there. He uses his gift of Sight to locate things. Sometimes that’s good, and sometimes it’s not.

At the moment, he’s been hired by the Nightside tabloid, The Unnatural Inquirer. The paper’s offices exist in a separate, pocket dimension, behind loads of security. That’s because they print whatever they’ve got. And a lot of very powerful people (and other things) don’t like that at all. Several of their reporters have been disappeared over the years, and the paparazzi are shoot-on-sight.

The paper wants Taylor to find one Pen Donavan, who claims to have recorded a transmission from the Afterlife. Which he then, burned to DVD, of course. The paper made a million-pound deal with Donavan, who vanished before arriving at their offices, apparently taking the DVD with him. So, there’s still a story, but without the DVD, there’s no merchandising to be had. There are plenty of Beings who might want the DVD destroyed. Light or Dark, no one wants the truth (if any) about the Afterlife (if any) getting out to the general populace. Accompanied by a half-succubus, half-rock star (Rolling Stones, if you must know) girl reporter named Bettie Divine, Taylor is off to search, and, most likely irritate, the Nightside.

If you’ve never read a Nightside novel before, you’re in for a treat. This is the most recent novel in a series, and does reference past events, but can be read as a standalone novel. The entire series is immensely entertaining, though, so reading previous novels is hardly a chore. John Taylor is a sort of paranormal/noir/hardboiled detective. He uses sarcastic humor almost as much as he uses his gift. The supporting cast is enormous – sometimes literally – and enormously entertaining. My only complaint is that the novels aren’t longer. It’s been too long since my last visit to the Nightside.

Rating: 8 ½
January 2008
ISBN# 978-0-441-01558-0 (hardcover)


Post a Comment

<< Home