Department Zero

Paul Crilley. Pyr, $17 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-63388-201-0
Crilley (The Osiris Curse) smashes together multiverse theory and the Cthulhu mythos in this action-packed, shallow horror fantasy. Harry Priest is middle-aged and stuck in a disgusting job: crime-scene cleanup. After a gig goes sideways, Priest finds himself enmeshed in a harrowing fight for his world, and other worlds. Priest has seen too much, so Havelock Graves recruits him for the Interstitial Crime Department, which deals with crime on a cosmic scale, using portals to jump from one world to the next. He explains to Priest that Lovecraft’s creations aren’t fiction, and Priest and Graves must fight Cthulhu’s acolytes and a host of other baddies (including a snarky Nyarlathotep) to save humanity. The narrative is fast-paced and fun, and the set pieces are well imagined, but the characters are never fully realized. However, the humor is on point, and Priest is an affable ne’er-do-well who only wants to see his young daughter grow up. His delight at the wonder of multiple worlds offers a nice contrast to Graves’s wry, world-weary affect. Lovecraft fans might have a lot of fun with this one, but those looking for deeper engagement will need to look elsewhere. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/21/2016
Release date: 01/24/2017
Ebook - 978-1-63388-202-7
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