John Taylor isn’t a detective, he’s just somebody who has a knack at finding things. He has a gift for finding things, as long as they are in the Nightside. And that is one of the big problems with Something from the Nightside by Simon R. Green. I swear the phrase ‘In the Nightside’ is said so many times in the book that it could be a drinking game. And every character is a super badass that all the other people.. in the Nightside… are afraid of them. This includes Suzie Shooter, Razor Eddie, The Collector, Henry Walker and Henry Walker… oh and Taylor himself. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
The story is straight forward Urban Fantasy about a secret world that lives in parallel to London. A dark, shadow world filled with killers and magic. Taylor was born there, his father was some kind of law enforcement, his mother wasn’t human but Taylor doesn’t know what. His knack is a really power, or gift as he calls it constantly. He can see where anything is or was in the Nightside. He is hired by a woman whose daughter has gone missing and signs point to her being in the Nightside. Taylor needs the money, so he takes the case even though the woman insists on going along. From there we are introduced to all of the oddities that make up the Nightside and meet a lot of Taylor’s friends. He’s been gone for five years and everyone, and I mean everyone, knew he’d be back and wonder if he still has “it”. His first confrontation is with someone he had embarrassed years before and he basically stares the guy down into running away.
Taylor has a lot of enemies and his friends aren’t exactly the nicest people. Mainly killers. And of course there seems to be a romantic thing going on with his new client. Which is explained at the end of the book. So, story wise, it’s an interesting set-up but filled with very cliche characters and told in a lot of cliche writing. And since I listened to it rather than read, it came across like an old radio program. But where radio programs were broken up into episode so a lot of repeating of tag lines and information had to take place… it wasn’t needed here, yet there was an abundance of it.
I wanted to like this book, and I know there are 12 in the series meaning people were buying them enough to keep them going. But I can’t take the overly cliche and repetitive nature of the writing. You won’t find me again… in the Nightside.