From Victor's list on blending speculative fiction and noir fiction.
Noir can sometimes be hard to identify, but most readers are familiar with the tropes: the put-upon private investigator, the case that he can’t walk away from, the hunt for leads, the twists and double-crosses. With Hammers on Bone, we get all the aesthetics of a hardboiled detective story but also: Lovecraftian monsters. Noir stories lay bare individual and collective moral failings, and in adding eldritch horrors, the book further externalizes those ills, showing how monstrous humans can be.
Hammers on Bone by Cassandra Khaw is a novella that melds the hardboiled detective novel with Lovecraftian monsters. Our private dick, John Persons, is hired by a ten-year-old kid to off his abusive stepfather. From this classic noir setup, to the character voice and dialect, to the shady characters, to the twists and reversals, this book really keys into the strengths of the genre, and amplifies them even further with…
Why should I read it?
What is this book about?
Cassandra Khaw bursts onto the scene with Hammers on Bone, a hard-boiled horror show that Charles Stross calls "possibly the most promising horror debut of 2016." A finalist for the British Fantasy award and the Locus Award for Best Novella!
John Persons is a private investigator with a distasteful job from an unlikely client. He’s been hired by a ten-year-old to kill the kid’s stepdad, McKinsey. The man in question is abusive, abrasive, and abominable.
He’s also a monster, which makes Persons the perfect thing to hunt him. Over the course of his ancient, arcane existence, he’s hunted gods and…