The Better Part of Darkness (Charlie Madigan, Book 1)
Simon & Schuster Pocket (US & CA: 24th November 2009; UK: 26th November 2009; AU: 1st January 2010)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)
Detective Charlie Madigan of the Integration Task Force was resurrected from the dead. Though she has no memory of exactly how that happened, her nightmares may very well be inspired by real life occurrences. As a divorced mum of a pre-teen, Charlie is level-headed. However, tremendous anger whilst working leads her to kill, and a demotion to a desk job is imminent. But first she has investigate the manufacturing and distribution of the otherworldly drug ash, which has already damaged Charlie’s daughter’s baby-sitter.
Drug investigation and repressed memories are fascinating enough, but what tops them here is the intriguing world-building. Kelly Gay’s vision of Atlanta is richly imagined, and far more memorable than any other author’s attempts to immortalise this city. The Better Part of Darkness hosts some awesome characters I’m looking forward to encountering again: namely Hank and Rex, and on a lesser note Sian. Charlie faces some harsh truths, but she also manages to get the freaking job done. I’m eagerly awaiting information on the author’s next novel.