Lore & Disorder: The Hell’s Detective Mysteries
Padwolf Publishing, 221 pp.
Lore & Dysorder collects six of Patrick Thomas’ Hell’s Detective stories together (four have been previously published). Yes, this is another book in Thomas’ Murphy’s Lore series (over a dozen and counting), but don’t let that intimidate you. All you need to know is that in the Murphy’s universe belief = power; gods with the best press agents do really well in this world.
In this branch of the series the main character is Negral, an all-but-forgotten Sumerian deity who works as Hell’s chief of police to maintain a certain level of his former glory. The stories pit him against renegade demons looking to escape their afterlife and fellow demon lords looking to expand their power. As always, Thomas spins a good yarn—noir in Hell, with a hefty dash of humor. There’s also a nice character arc woven amongst the stories that makes the entire collection read more like a novel.
My one complaint—and you see this a lot in the Murphy’s series—is that Thomas uses his more powerful characters as deus ex machinas. It would have been nice to see how Negral would solve certain problems if the regulars at Bullfinche’s Pub were incommunicado for a bit. Still though, a fun take on the paranormal detective genre.