By Chris Holm
Angry Robot, $7.99, 304 pages
Don’t let the garish ‘70s cover fool you, while written in a classic smoking gun, hard-boiled film noir style, Dead Harvest by Chris F. Holm, the first book in The Collector series, is completely fresh and absolutely distracting. You won’t be able to put it down, and you’ll want a stiff drink and a smoke to go with it.
Sam Thornton, collector of souls, has one job, collect the souls of the damned. When he is sent to collect the soul of a young woman who he believes to be innocent, he says what no collector has ever said, “No.”
If I was right, and this girl’s soul really did hold the fate of the world in balance, at least I knew God had a sense of humor. I mean, shit, he could’ve sent her a savior with a clue.
Angels, demons, collectors of the dead, innocents who slaughter their families and are blessed in divine light, it’s hard to be sure who’s good and who’s evil in this urban fantasy and noir-dark crime. Sam is a flawed and tragic hero who is utterly compelling and strangely sympathetic. The cast of demons and angels surrounding, and often chasing, him are equally intriguing in this solid debut for a thrilling new novelist. Look forward to this and any other work by this author.
Reviewed by Axie Barclay