Book Review: Evil Dark / Author: Justin Gustainis / Format: Paperback / Publisher: Angry Robot / Release Date: Out Now
Urban Fantasy, which is a term that publishers use to describe stories that feature fantastic creatures in modern day situations, have been around long enough to develop common but distinctive patterns and styles. The two most common types are supernatural romance and gritty, film-noir style detective stories. Evil Dark, by Justin Gustainis, thankfully follows the latter of these models, and follows a path well trodden by the likes of Mike Mignola and Jim Butcher.
Evil Dark continues the adventures of Police Detective Stan Markowski (previously seen in Hard Spell, the first book in this series). This time round however, the copper is hunting down a sadistic murderer who is making snuff movies featuring the grisly deaths of supernatural creatures. Crucifix in one hand and badge in the other, the not-so-good detective takes on all the strangeness in the world in order to crack the case. If you haven’t read Hard Spell don’t worry, it works fine as a standalone story, though the previous book is also worth a look.
Fans of this sort of thing will find this an incredibly easy read; Gustainis writes in an easy, relaxed style that’s hard to put down. The author’s style is a witty, well observed one that suits both supernatural drama and police procedural stories to a tee. This is a book that features meth-addicted goblins. If that doesn’t make you chuckle and wince at the same time, you might want to look up what goblins are. Fans of TV shows like Supernatural and Grimm will find this worth a read, and it’s a lovely mix of real world nightmare and fantastic horror.