cover image Hell to Pay: A Novel of the Nightside

Hell to Pay: A Novel of the Nightside

Simon R. Green, . . Ace, $6.99 (264pp) ISBN 978-0-441-01460-6

Lady Damnation, Old Father Time, a world weary Count Dracula and the hard-drinking storybook character Bruin Bear are only a few of the beings that Green produces for his seventh novel set in the sinister and psychedelic world of Nightside. None, however, are more powerful than "the Griffin," an immortal who built his empire on the carcasses of foes, who has now summoned paranormal PI John Taylor to find his granddaughter. Taylor specializes in locating lost things; his Sight—which allows him to see into other dimensions—should be ideal for the task. But when an entity in the Griffin's mansion blocks his abilities, Taylor must investigate the old-fashioned way: questioning the Griffin's family members one by one. Taylor's q&a sessions are less than thrilling, and the numerous references to the family's fearsome reputation grow tiresome. Fortunately, Green throws in a number of left-field surprises, spicing things up with an attack of fanatical nuns (called the Salvation Army Sisterhood), a bloodthirsty gangster and a DNA-stealing Charnel Chimera. Indeed, the most entertaining aspect lies not in Taylor's investigation but in anticipating what Green's twisted imagination will conjure next. (Jan.)