The Night Dahlia

R.S. Belcher. Tor, $15.99 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-0-7653-9012-7
In the bloody follow-up to 2015’s Nightwise, set in a magical alternate present day, legendary wizard Laytham Ballard must find a ruthless Fae crime boss’s missing daughter so he can turn her over to her betrothed, in return for a true prize: his capacity for joy, which he bartered away on a previous job. Caern Ankou was only 13 when she went missing in 2009, and the trail has gone ice cold. Along for the ride, to Ballard’s consternation, is Vigil Burris, Elf knight and Theo Ankou’s right-hand man. Bouncing from glamorous Greek islands to the seediest of L.A. nightclubs, the complicated Ballard, who narrates with wry, pitch-black humor, must face down murderous gangs wielding Aztec magic, an assassin from a rival Fae family, and even Charles Manson himself. Luckily, Ballard slings magic like an Old West gunfighter and has many talented allies in low places. Belcher is a natural storyteller, and his crackling fight scenes spit sparks of magic and mayhem; however, as satisfying as it is when Ballard lays waste to the vilest of foes, readers may be disturbed by the casual cruelty he inflicts on others. (The opening scene of a possessed nine-year-old shooting his classmates, and Ballard’s brutal exorcism of the killer spirit animating the child, will serve as ample warning of what lies in store.) This dark, imaginative tale will appeal to fans of gritty, no-holds-barred urban fantasy and horror. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/12/2018
Release date: 04/03/2018
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 978-0-7653-9014-1
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