“Algernon Swafford belongs to no man!
Debonair, refined and proudly English, Swafford isn’t the usual private eye of 1940’s Los Angeles. Not only is he tougher than the others, he offers an extra service. For the right fee, he’ll not only track down the target, he’ll eliminate them.
Hired to do his worst to a disgraceful cad of an author, Swafford tracks him down to a Californian coastal town. He intends to kill him with a grin, but there’s something terrible about this new prey. A fantastical and weird secret that the likes of Swafford have never encountered.
The terrible forces of cosmic horror are about to be unleased, but is there anything Swafford can do to stop them?”
I got an ARC from the author.
I am not a fan of detective, PI, or cop anything. I find them boring. The MCs tend to be either over confident or clearly not smart enough to solve things, sometimes both at once. I find the mysteries predictable and often grow bored long before everything is finalized. I just couldn’t care less about if the bad guy gets caught, I often root for the bad guy just so the insufferable MC is taken out. Jameson seems to understand the tropes of the mystery genre and the cop drama genre to a T. He not only wrote a character that fit the bill of exactly why I hate the genres, but he did it in a way that gave me my wish.
I love happy endings, but what counts as happy depends on who you are. Sometimes happy is a reference to unspeakable supernatural horror, just saying. So I hated the MC. The rampant homophobia fit the character in a way that made me hate him more, but did not make me doubt the author. It is really rare that I read homophobia and go “this actually fits in this story and is not being used as a crutch”. Instead the homophobia showed just how deep the MC thought of himself and hated all that was different than him. He was very much that big man on campus that thought he could do no wrong and bashed anyone who wasn’t him. It was a big flaw and one I was more than happy to see exploited. I won’t go into any more detail, because I don’t want to reveal the happy (for me) ending.
I think my favorite part of this novella was the bad guy. Though if I am being honest, what I really enjoyed was he was potentially the husband of my favorite character that Jameson has written. So it was nice to see who he really was in the flesh, instead of just hearing about him. I could totally be off base with this theory, but I just love that character so much that it is worth forcing it to fit. Trust me, Jameson can write a killer female bad guy (pun intended. You should know that by now. All puns are intended).
While I am still not a fan of the genre, I would gladly read more in it if it was written by Jameson. His stories always have something that I can’t predict and the way he writes is wonderful. The way he is able to really get distinct voices for his MCs is impressive and I usually love and loath how far into their heads Jameson can get me.
4 out of 5 stars. I would recommend this book.
You can buy the book here.