cover image Killing Pretty

Killing Pretty

Richard Kadrey. Harper Voyager, $25.99 (400p) ISBN 978-0-06-237310-6

Urban fantasy fans who place a premium on humor are most likely to enjoy Kadrey’s seventh Sandman Slim novel (after The Getaway God). Slim, aka James Stark, is one of the nephilim—half human, half angel—who’s working as a PI in Los Angeles. His powers are pretty impressive; before the book begins, he’d killed “a weasely fragment of God who, if he’d lived, would have ruined the universe.” That, understandably, has annoyed the angelic host, who joins a lengthy roster of Stark’s foes. Thwarting Stark’s hope of returning to more mundane cases, Kadrey gives him another daunting challenge: someone dragged Death into a human body and cut out his heart, killing him, and Stark’s boss, Julie Sola, wants him to find out whodunit. Julie hopes that finding Death’s killer will restore some normalcy, as after the assault “no one is dying anywhere.” There’s little sense of menace or looming darkness, but plenty of over-the-top entertainment. Agent: Ginger Clark, Curtis Brown Ltd. (July)