cover image One Foot in the Fade

One Foot in the Fade

Luke Arnold. Orbit, $17.99 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-0-316-66877-4

Arnold’s outstanding third Fetch Phillips urban fantasy (after Dead Man in a Ditch), set seven years after the Coda removed magic from the world, sees human Phillips struggling to sustain his business helping formerly magical clients adjust to that change. Gigs are drying up as supernatural beings reconcile themselves to a permanently diminished existence, a resignation accelerated by the rapacious Niles Company, which is reshaping the infrastructure of Phillips’s home base of Sunder City. Now Phillips, who’s driven by guilt to find a way to restore magic as his own actions inadvertently caused the Coda, pursues reports of thieves targeting once-magical artifacts, suggesting that someone may know how to restore their powers. But his investigation takes a dangerous turn following the suspicious death of a friend, an angel whose wings could no longer be used for flight. Arnold’s attention to worldbuilding details, such as necessary changes to Sunder City’s streets to accommodate automobiles, set this a cut above. While many others have tried to wed hard-boiled narration with a supernatural plot, few have been as successful. (May)