CBR #27 – All The News That’s Print to Give You Fits

The Unnatural Inquirer by Simon R. Green

Well, the new case is on for John Taylor.  He’s working for the oldest shadiest tabloid in The Nightside, The Unnatural Inquirer.  And they paired him with a half-succubus who is designed solely to pout at John Taylor for being a hideous monster, in between throwing herself at him sexually.  A challenge to his relationship-ish with Shotgun Suzie.  Because of her molestation at a young age, she can’t bear to be touched.  So Taylor is put to the test by being given what is literally every man’s desire.  Well, provided he wants to bang a demon.  But Taylor nobly foists her off.  And since book twelve or so is called The Bride Wore Black Leather, I’m kinda hoping them two crazy kids make everything work.  The monsters need to stick together.

The bigger kick in the pants is the case.  He’s supposed to track down a man who may or may not have recorded a DVD of the Afterlife.  And so everyone wants it.  And the newspaper wants it whether it’s true or not.  And so Taylor goes on another madcap search where he shakes down a different wacky character each chapter until eventually going to Strangefellows, and then eventually discovering that Old Man Jenkins was the menacing villain the whole time!  You durn kids.

Actually, the real reveal turns out to be way dorkier and less satisfying.  The Nightside books are at least blessedly short, so slogging through them isn’t so tragic when they aren’t as good.  Green really relies on a shorthand where he loves certain turns of phrase and descriptions of his characters.  Taylor’s white trenchcoat, Suzie being described as having an impressive bust on which she keeps her bandolier of shells.  Alex of Strangefellows and his beret on the baldspot.  He fucking loves the phrase “red of tooth and claw.”  And this habit spreads through ALL of his books. So really, churning through them, they all start to blend together.  But I’m a fucking completionist and I will get through all of them!  EXCELSIOR!


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