*SPOLIERS* Oh Simon R. Green, how I love thee. Green brings back his secret agent Eddie Drood in Casino Infernale, the latest in the Secret Histories arc. Like the rest of the Secret Histories books, this title is also a play on a James Bond title. Which is fitting considering that Eddie Drood’s alter ego is Shaman Bond. And Shaman Bond is the one who has to do the heavy lifting in this book.
In a previous book, Eddie and his lady love Molly Metcalf killed Crow Lee (The Most Evil Man in the World. He doesn’t always drink beer but when he does…). Apparently Crow Lee has left some sort of Inheritance (yes, capitalized) to whoever can find it first. Considering the man was called The Most Evil Man in the World, whatever the Inheritance is (no one knows), it isn’t anything good. People and various organizations around the world are already making trouble trying to find it.
So the Droods call in a Summit of the major players in the supernatural world. Only representatives from the UK show up, all of which appear in other books by Green: The London Knights, the Crowley Project, the Carnacki Institute and the Nightside (love Dead Boy). The problem is, with so many major players in one place, they have to find a suitably neutral place. That place? The Martian Tombs. Natch.
So everyone there decides that the Crow Lee Inheritance is too dangerous to just be out there, but they can’t decide what to do about it. Until the Armourer (official Drood representative to the Summit) suggests breaking the Shadow Bank at the Casino Infernale. So anyone of you lot who have seen Casino Royale with the delectable Daniel Craig will recognize this basic plot bunny. Eddie gets the nom to break the bank because he’s the only one at the Summit who basically has the balls and the practical know how to break the bank at a casino.
What he doesn’t know when he agrees to do this at the Summit is that the family has to take away the one thing that makes him a Drood, his torc. The Casino Infernale has ways to see Drood armour (yes, I’m usuing the British spelling as the writer is British and I’m a total anglophile) and it is just too dangerous to send him on this mission as a Drood. So, naked in a sense but not completely defenseless, Eddie (now as Shaman Bond) and Molly go to the Casino Royale to gamble their way to the top.
They have, of course, some very nice little toys from the Armourer: a chameleon card deck (exactly what it sounds like), Eddie’s repeating Colt revolver (never runs out of bullets. It’s magic!) and two little black disks that when combined open anything. There’s a catch to this breaking the bank thing though. The Shadow Bank doesn’t deal in money really. They deal with souls. And when Shaman Bond arrives on the scene, he finds that his newly discovered parents who were supposed to be helping him pave his way in had actually bet and lost his soul. Way to go mom and dad!
But through a combination of luck, nastiness and trickier, Eddie and Molly keep winning, racking up the souls until they get invited to the Big Game (yes, capitalized). Do they make it to the end? Does Eddie get his soul back? Read it and find out! Because seriously, Simon R Green couldn’t have been any more on with this book if he was a light switch. It was awesome! And there is definitely going to be another book because there are unanswered questions. And they said there would be on the last page. 😉 Rating: A+++ Seriously. Read it.