Something From The Nightside

Written by: Simon R. Green

Published by: ACE

Reviewed by Ismael Manzano

          I was lured into purchasing this book simply by the title; it just caught my attention, and when I read the description on the jacket, I had to read through it.  Something From The Nightside, by Simon R. Green, is one of those rare and entertaining books that feels like it should have been a movie because it reads like a movie—not an easy thing to pull off. 

     The story follows John Taylor, half-demon, private eye, and former resident of The Nightside, a hidden part of London where every form of unimaginable are real and coexist under a sunless sky.  John is running from a past he no longer wants, running by hiding away in the real world, taking clients as they come, finding lost things for people and just plain trying to pay the bills. 

     Enter Ms. Joanna Barrett, straight-laced, uppity, business woman with a missing teenager in need of finding.  No one will help her.  No one can help her.  All she has is a name—Nightside—and a few thousand dollars to throw around.  John takes the case because he needs the money and quickly takes her into The Nightside, the place he swore he’d never return to. 

     The author delves into this new and mystical world that could have been a post-apocalyptic war zone if not for all the inhuman creatures running about.  They all know John Taylor; they all fear John Taylor.  His name is infamous in The Nightside for reason even John could never figure out, but he knew it had something to do with his demon mother.

     Using his gift to see things no one else can, John finds a trail and follows the lead, deeper and deeper into The Nightside.  Along the way, he meets up with old friends, old enemies and some that are in between.  They go to a bar that only opens its door when it feels inclined to, a restaurant that is actually a ghost, a future where John Taylor has killed every living thing on earth, and a house that isn’t a house and has a very big appetite.  And along the way he gets a shocking reminder of the Nightside’s ageless motto:  You can’t trust anyone.

     Something from Tthe Nightside is a well written, hardboiled story with a real retro-P.I. feel to it, told in a first person narrative that is simple yet informative.  The author doesn’t waste any time in throwing the reader into the world he created.  My only problem with it is that I felt the story was a little rushed in the beginning, giving the reader no time whatsoever to get to know John in his life outside of The Nightside and pushing him back in so fast it made me wonder how he’d manage to stay out of it for five years.  The character seemed too willing to go back. 

     Aside from that, I loved the story and look forward to reading the rest of The Nightside series.    


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