Henry Holt & Company: The Eighth Detective by Alex Pavesi

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Something More Than Night

Something More Than Night is a big, bold fantasy novel that mixes medieval cosmology, noir and trippy, complex ideas on memory, death and (the absence of) God into a highly readable whole.

The main character in Ian Tregellis's novel is an angel named Bayliss who's obsessed with noir, particularly Raymond Chander's fictional private eye Phillip Marlowe. There's been a cover-up in the murder of the angel Gabriel, and the Jericho Trumpet has gone missing... which could spell the end of the world. Molly is an innocent human drawn into the plot; some of the book's most poignant scenes concern Molly relinquishing her human identity and memories after her death to assume the role of angel.

Tregillis has an understated, graceful style, weaving grand cosmology, myth and a hardboiled gumshoe plot into a story full of narrative tension, gripping characters and imaginative set pieces that recalls Roger Zelazny or Neil Gaiman. The grandiosity and epic feel to his view of heaven and the angelic choirs is perfectly juxtaposed with the tough guy poses and noir obsessions of Bayliss--and even as the novel tosses out one idea after another, they never muck up the narrative's flow. Tregillis is a wonderful up-and-coming voice in the fantasy field who deserves wide readership. --Donald Powell, freelance writer