Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Mean Streets by Jim Butcher, Simon R. Green and More

The best paranormal private investigators have been brought together in a single volume—and cases don’t come any harder than this.

New York Times bestselling author Jim Butcher delivers a hard-boiled tale in which Harry Dresden’s latest case may be his last.

Nightside dweller John Taylor is hired by a woman to find something she lost—her memory—in a thrilling noir tale from New York Times bestselling author Simon R. Green.

National bestselling author Kat Richardson’s Greywalker finds herself in too deep when a “simple job” goes bad and Harper Blaine is enmeshed in a tangle of dark secrets and revenge from beyond the grave.

For centuries, the being that we know as Noah lived among us. Now he is dead, and fallen-angel-turned-detective Remy Chandler has been hired to find out who killed him in a whodunit by national bestselling author Thomas E. Sniegoski.

I originally read this anthology about a year ago when it came out as a trade paper (~$14). I'm a huge fan of Butcher and Green, but the other two authors were new to me and I don't like putting down that kind of money for something I couldn't be positive of. I haven't gone back and read through all of the stories again, so I can't speak to them at the moment, but I can say that for the mass market paperback price this book is worth it just for the first 2 stories. Butcher does an almost unmatched job of creating a complete story, start to finish, in the smallest of formats. I've written before how short stories can be hit or miss depending on an author's ability to handle the size limit, but for Butcher there's no problem. Harry returns to readers in this story trying to protect his friend Michael, no longer a holy knight, from a threat that's not at all the usual paranormal beastie. Getting the deeper glimpse into Michael's life and Harry's efforts to protect his friend make this a really great read that I'll come back to forever.

Green's story focuses on John Taylor working to help his latest client - a women who has no memory of the last day and wants to know why. Like all things in the Nightside, there is a rarely an innocuous reason for any weird thing that happens, so he's forced to push through various obstacles to find the truth. Even if the client doesn't want to know the truth anymore. Sufficiently creepy for anyone and a great combination with his noir detective act, this short story is a welcome addition to the series.

Overall Feeling - Thumbs up. I love Butcher's and Green's additions to the anthology, and their work alone makes this book worth the price.

Series - Various. Please see the author's individual websites for more information.