I love the Sandman Slim novels. Richard Kadrey’s writing reminds me of a mix of Simon R. Green’s evocative descriptions and Jim Butcher’s snark peppered with a hint of the dystopian. A hint is all I need really, I’m not generally a person who reads full on dystopian books.
The latest Sandman Slim is Killing Pretty. This book picks up where the last one left off, pretty directly. Stark is resented by a lot of angels, his girlfriend Candy is ‘dead’ (she was ‘killed’ pretty spectacularly in front of a lot of cops but it was a fake out. A glamour making her a Japanese woman is all that keeps her safe these days) and he no longer has access to the room of 13 doors. This is the major bummer as that was his big trick, the one he relied on more than anything to help him figure out what was going on.
But the big thing is that someone has killed Death. Or rather, they managed to stuff the Angel of Death into a body and then kill that body. It didn’t take, so Death crawled out of where the body was and went to Stark for help. Because he’s working as a PI for a woman who used to be a marshal, she ends up working the case.
This is the big case, the name maker that will make sure that she and Stark remain in business. Because while Death is stuck in the body of a mortal, people aren’t dying. It’s a little Torchwood Children of Earth, honestly, but the mechanics of what’s going on at least make a little sense in this universe.
I highly recommend this whole series, and this is a pretty good one. You don’t need to read the whole series for this to make sense but there are a number of callbacks to prior novels that make more sense if you’ve read them. I do know that this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea so be warned there is a lot of cussing and graphic violence, as one would expect with Sandman Slim. Rating: A