Friday, October 14, 2016

Hammers on Bone, by Cassandra Khaw

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(Horror; Persons Non Grata) An 11-year-old asks a private eye to murder his stepdad, because "he's a monster--and you're a monster too." (17,800 words; Time: 59m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average
Recommended By: Locus

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Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

Pro: We have a hardboiled detective from a Raymond Chandler novel dropped into a Lovecraftian modern-day London, and it pretty much works. John does eventually kill the step-dad creature, and learns a few things too.

Con: The hardboiled angle works better than the Lovecraftian bit. The anti-climactic discussion with Shub-Niggurath makes the whole thing end on an off note. It doesn't help that we never get a clear idea of John's strengths and limitations, which means that each time he does something new, it feels like a bit of a cheat.

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