Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Angelic Noir

Something More than Night by Ian Tregillis

The story opens up with the death of the Archangel Gabriel, a cynical angel gone native, and the recently deceased Molly, who has been tapped to take the place of Gabriel. It is the story of a murder mystery, of a long con, of an angelic choir, all with enough deceit and misdirection, grit and smoke, to make any Philip Marlowe fan happy.

The story opens with Bayliss, an angel that has been “slumming with the monkeys” down on earth that has been tapped by an unnamed power in heaven to find a replacement for the recently killed Gabriel. For this, he needs someone freshly dead and sets his eyes on a simple pushover. Instead of getting his intended patsy, he offs the spunky sister, Molly. Now the pair have to figure out why Gabriel was murdered, where the powerful Jericho Trumpet is, and figure out what shadowy movers are behind it all.

The 40’s-style slang can be a bit much at times, confusing the dialogue, but is an affectation lends realism to Bayliss and is an entertaining juxtaposition to some of the other angels. Molly’s frantic, bumbling attitude can be a bit tiresome, but eventually her spunky attitude starts to some around for the better. The story has plenty of slow moment, heavy with dialogue but rich with details that paint an excellent noir story.  In all, Tregillis, does an excellent job of blending noir, Augustinian heaven, urban fantasy, and a dash of metaphysics.

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