Short Story Review: “The Spirit of the Thing” by Simon R. Green

3 of 5 stars.

Modern day wizarding detectives have proliferated the past couple of decades with mixed results on the noir voice. This tale exists as an unnumbered vignette within Green’s Nightside series set within the fictional London neighborhood of Nightside, an occult Nocturne Alley that never leaves the bleak darkness of 3am.

Detective John Taylor makes his way to the worst of the dodgy Nightside pubs, The Jolly Cripple. where the proprietor solicits his help to solve an alcohol-tampering mystery. Without tension nor much research nor clues, the private eye has the answer. A Sherlock Holmes’ style deduction would be fun, but Taylor just cleanly looks into the heart of any matter using his Third Eye depriving the vignette of any excitement or cleverness.

Then, another mystery arises in the form of a ghost that wants the cause of her murder discovered. This potential climax is dispatched as fast as the first.

Little insight is given into the larger Nightside world and the protagonist gets little room for character development. Perhaps that is to be expected when 2 cases are solved in quick order in under 12 pages.

This tale appears in Street Magicks edited by Paula Guran. I received this new anthology from Netgalley. The short story was originally published in Those Who Fight Monsters: Tales of Occult Detectives [2011].
 
 
 
[Check out my other reviews here.]

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One response to “Short Story Review: “The Spirit of the Thing” by Simon R. Green

  1. Pingback: Short Story Review: “The Nightside, Needless to Say” by Simon R. Green | Jaffalogue

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