cover image Dying Is My Business

Dying Is My Business

Nicholas Kaufmann. St. Martin’s Griffin, $15.99 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-1-250-03610-0

Kaufmann’s kickoff to a new urban fantasy series set in New York City aims high but falls short. The man known only as Trent, who had been an ordinary burglar working for a crime boss, is now something very different, having somehow come back from the dead nine times. Sent to Hell’s Kitchen to recover a mysterious box, Trent finds a woman fending off six things with wings that he soon learns are gargoyles, the first of many supernatural beings he encounters. Some of the flatly delivered dialogue is unintentionally humorous (“I don’t know who I am, or what I am. After today, I don’t know what I’m becoming.... All I know is that it could be bad”), and the key story elements—Trent discovering that he has additional powers, the race to ward off an apocalyptic threat—are more familiar than interesting. Agent: Richard Curtis, Richard Curtis Associates. (Oct.)