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Review: Hammers on Bone by Cassandra Khaw


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 demons, and broken them in his teeth.

As Persons investigates the horrible McKinsey, he realizes that he carries something far darker. He’s infected with an alien presence, and he’s spreading that monstrosity far and wide. Luckily Persons is no stranger to the occult, being an ancient and magical intelligence himself. The question is whether the private dick can take down the abusive stepdad without releasing the holds on his own horrifying potential.

My thoughts:

Hammers on Bone is a dark story. And by that I don’t mean the deliciously, gory kind of dark that I enjoy with my black heart. If you strip it down to its core, this is a story about child abuse. A great, powerful story.

I enjoyed Cassandra Khaw’s prose a lot and the protagonist’s voice is exactly the kind I love right from the start. I knew right away I would enjoy this novella. I liked his cheery nature which was the much needed contrast to the dark and violent tone of this story.

I especially loved Cassandra Khaw’s take on lovecraftian horror. Stripping down this kind of horrifying behavior to what it really is: monstrous, and thus crafting a well done novella as well as delivering a powerful message (which made me wish I could give this to children who need to hear it, if it weren’t as violent and dark).

Well done pacing, a great voice for the main character and the amazing merge of lovecraftian horror and everyday terror easily make this a must-read novella.

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Dec 19, 2016