Unquiet Dreams by Mark del Franco
Sequel to Unshapely Things. This one finds Connor Grey called in to investigate the murder of a teenage gangbanger in the Weird, Boston’s Fey (faerie race) slum. Two things make this kid’s death noteworthy: he died in the middle of a field with no tracks around, apparantly dropped from a great height, and the air around his corpse is unnaturally cold. From here it doesn’t take Connor long to get in over his head, as elf-sidhe politics gets involved, as do dwarfs and trolls. And gods. And, of course, Connor’s friends, allies, and enemies at the Fey Guild.
One of the things I like about these books is that, due to a crippling accident before the first book, Connor is virtually powerless as magic goes. This forces him back on the tools of the classic hard-boiled detective: brains and connections. That many of his connections are fae folk are what gives the book its flavour.
Madhouse by Rob Thurman
Sequel to Nightlife and Moonshine, this volume finds our heroes dealing with an immortal serial killer/cannibal (no, not old Saucy Jack), who has risen from his own ashes in a display at a museum (or been raised) and is now wreaking havoc on NYC.
Thurman’s doing good work here, balancing the darkness that surrounds his heroes with their growing family relationships, rendering bearable what might otherwise be a cavalcade of monsters and horror. It’s a fine line, but he’s staying on the right side of it so far. I wouldn’t call this series fun, but I would call it interesting.