Just Another Judgement Day by Simon R. Green
Man. I totally wish this was Judgement Night instead. And that it had the rap/rock soundtrack. But it didn’t. Instead, we get another cold open that probably could stand alone as it’s own jobber — involving Baron Frankenstein (who has made appearances in Drood as well) and some Dorian Gray action. Of course, the horrors are solved by John Taylor remembering he has a gift and Suzie Shooter gunning a thousand motherfuckers.
Then we get into the meat of the story — The Walking Man has come to the Nightside to kill the guilty and to destroy the new Authorities, and so the New Authorities hire John Taylor to stop him. Now, my first introduction to the Walking Man was in the Drood books. The first Drood book if I remember correctly. And he was a nonce. And Eddie Drood beat his ass with one punch.
Here, he’s transformed into the Wrath of God, an untouchable gunslinger completely with two Peacemakers, who can’t be stopped and who destroys evil in the name of the Lord. As a sucker for Roland Deschain, this was keen. And so Taylor pairs off with Chandra Singh, an Indian Holy Warrior, who mostly is there to be an Indian Holy Warrior. As per usual, the book follows the traditional formula of bad guy, bad guy kills everyone, Taylor watches him do it, Taylor gets a sidekick, and then Taylor saves the day.
This gets the bump to 3 stars for a few reasons. One, I like how Taylor ultimately stops The Walking Man. It’s a nice change of pace from “Taylor used his gift and bazinga.” Two, the New Authorities add an interesting wrinkle to the new arc. I didn’t expect it to go that direction, but it makes total sense in a way. And three, the very end of the story is kind of nice, setting up two things that are inevitable from the title of the last book and from having read Drood. This book seemed to have even more Drood influence as well as a few Deathstalker throw-ins. I’ll take it.