The Good, the Bad, and the Uncanny (Nightside)
by Simon R. Green
Review by Steve Sawicki
Ace Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780441019779
Date: 28 December 2010 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
This is another novel in Green's Nightside series. This time, John Taylor, private investigator within the Nightside, that hidden area in the middle of London where it is always 3 AM, finds himself called upon to be part of three tasks--getting an elf from one side of the Nightside to the other, helping a dead friend find a lost brother, and trying to come to grips with a job offer from none other than Walker, the enigmatic individual who runs the Nightside and who admits to being close to death.
Walker's looking for his replacement and Taylor appears to be it. Mixed in with all of the above is the usual cast of characters, shady operatives, and misplaced individuals. Oh yeah, and it appears that Excaliber is returning--and no one knows exactly what that means, although everyone seems to agree that it's probably not good.
This is not so much a novel as it is three short stories tied together with a narrative arc. On the one hand it's very fast paced, direct with resolution, and doesn't require a master's degree for comprehension. On the other hand it's a bit thin in places, not really a novel, and lacking in that feeling of fulfillment that comes with many pages of working towards a unified ending. The writing is very fast paced, the characters are weird and wacky and the plot lines are as strange as ever.
If you are a fan of the series then you will enjoy this book. It fits right into what has gone before and sets the stage for some pending fireworks in the future. If you are not familiar with the series then this is probably not the book for you. Go and find the first one. This series is supernatural fantasy with a sardonic edge and it's best to start at the beginning when dealing with such. I thoroughly enjoyed it, page for page, and look forward to more. Definitely and highly recommended.