Short Story Review: “A Night in Electric Squidland” by Sarah Monette

4 of 5 stars.

Supernatural detectives and investigators are not uncommon in modern urban fantasy–think Butcher’s Dresden Files and Green’s Nightside series. Here we get the classic investigator duo with blurred lines of professional and personal matters ala Castle, or more precisely this tale shows the moment the line blur and partners become something undefined and yet still more than mere partners.

Mick Sharpton [as does his partner Jamie Keller] works for the Bureau of Paranormal Investigations for the government. Mick, a clairvoyant, runs through partners like boyfriends, mostly because the former don’t buy the ESP-thing–no word on the latter.

Some days, Mick Sharpton was almost normal.

Those were the good days, the days when he did his job and went dancing after work, days when he enjoyed eating and slept well and sang in the shower. Days when flirting with a good-looking man was fun, even if it didn’t lead to sex . . .

The bad days were when the world wouldn’t stay out of his head, when everyone he looked at wore a swirling crown of color, and everything he touched carried the charge of someone else’s life. Those days were all about maintaining his increasingly precarious control, snarling and snapping to keep anyone from getting too close. Trying not to drown . . .

Mick and his investigation partner, Jamie, land a case when half a body [the right half] is found dumped after an anonymous tip. The hope is Mick will sense a lead. Reality wins when Jamie recognizes his male ex-lover, or what’s left of him. Jamie and Brett had worked together at a multi-tiered dodgy nightclub steeped in an occult, orgiastic medley. Following the personal lead, the men head to the club–the Electric Squidland . . .

This tale appears in Street Magicks edited by Paula Guran. I received this new anthology from Netgalley. The short story was originally published in Lone Star Stories #5 [2006]. I’ve previously read this author’s “Somewhere Beneath Those Waves Was Her Home”, “White Charles”, and “The Wreck of the Charles Dexter Ward.
[Check out my other reviews here.]


One response to “Short Story Review: “A Night in Electric Squidland” by Sarah Monette

  1. Pingback: Short Story Review: “Impostors” by Sarah Monette | Jaffalogue

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