John Persons, an old one inhabiting the body of a private investigator in modern London, is hired by a ten year old boy to kill his stepfather, but all is not as it seems.
This is an interesting Lovecraft/detective noir mash up. I enjoyed the private investigator’s unlikely 1940’s slang, and even though I’m not a fan of Lovecraft, I liked the creepy aspects of the horrors from deep space manifesting in London.
Unfortunately, the very real horror of child abuse stole some of the fun from this story of a child wanting to end his monstrous stepfather. While the danger is never explicitly described, I found the threat to the child upsetting, and the resolution to the case dissatisfying.
However, there are many of my favorite themes in this novelette. I love stories about getting a bigger monster to slay your demons, and ending up in worse trouble than you started. I also love stories about monsters dwelling anonymously in everyday life.
Khaw writes well and combines the different threads into a cohesive whole. I think fans of the Lovecraft mythos in particular will love this tale.
I award Hammers on Bone…
Hammers on Bone is available for $2.73 ebook and $8.79 print book on Amazon.