Night Shift (Jill Kismet, Book 1)
Hachette Orbit (US: 1st July 2008; UK: 3rd July 2008; AU: September 2008)
Don’t expect to laugh, but do enjoy the ride of this new series’ first part.
Jill Kismet is a hunter, patrolling the night streets for hellbreed and other such naughty sorts, and dropping possessed hosts to the Catholic hospital for exorcisms. This is relatively ordinary business, until cops are killed, and the stakes rise. It’s serious stuff, so the narrative is played with a straight face, but I did have to chuckle (though maybe I wasn’t supposed to) at: The nightside doesn’t take vacations. Neither do I.
Clichés, archetypes, tropes…I’m not sure of the correct term, but they heavily feature. Kick-arse heroine with a troubled past. Dead mentor/lover. On the road to redemption. This could be any story, and it’s a real credit to the author that she still manages to make these things into a good, different read. And it’s really worth applauding that Ms Saintcrow hasn’t romanticised her hellbreed; that they really are…well, not quite people, but creatures you don’t want to mess with, and certainly don’t want to shag. And the warehouse-as-home is unique.
I read this over several days, often in front of the television and/or in a dour mood, so I had trouble keeping concentration and remembering what happened in earlier chapters. Even a day after finishing the novel, I can’t even remember what my questions were. Be sure to pay attention, and your reading experience will be much more fulfilling. Still, the novel was good enough to finish, so I’ll be politely awaiting Hunter’s Prayer‘s release.