cover image Limbus, Inc., Book II

Limbus, Inc., Book II

Edited by Brett J. Talley. JournalStone (, $18.95 trade paper (310p) ISBN 978-1-940161-33-4

A highly unorthodox employment agency (first seen in 2013’s Limbus, Inc.) returns in this shared-world anthology of five hardboiled horror-noir tales from bestselling and Stoker-winning contributors. Whether inspired by Emily Dickinson (Harry Shannon’s “Zero at the Bone” ) or Edgar Rice Burroughs (Joe R. Lansdale’s “Fishing for Dinosaurs”), the stories feature shattered people offered a chance to recover their lives if they accept the weird and dangerous jobs that Limbus brokers. One helps the victim of a long-cold fatal hit-and-run accident to find justice (“Lost and Found” by Joe McKinney); another gives someone a complete career makeover as a mercenary (“The Transmigration of Librarian Blaine Evans” by Gary A. Braunbeck). The plots threaten to veer out of control, as in Jonathan Maberry’s closing short novel “Three Guys Walk into a Bar,” in which natural and synthetic werewolves face off, but the combination of humor (Maberry’s werewolf ex-cop PI enjoys Downton Abbey) and tragedy will hold the reader. (Nov.)