The Pale House Devil

Titan. Oct. 2023. 128p. ISBN 9781803363899. $17.99. HORROR
Neuland and Ford are not stereotypical paid assassins. They are kind men with strong moral compasses—and one of them is dead. Neuland only kills the living, and Ford only kills the dead. They’re down on their luck and low on cash when Tilda Rosenbloom hires them to remove a curse from her employer’s ancestral home. As the two mercenaries and Tilda get closer to the truth, though, it becomes clear that this curse won’t be easy to remove and that the owner’s family is not as blameless as they claim. In true noir fashion, Neuland and Ford are hard-boiled killers with hearts of gold and quippy one-liners at the ready. Kadrey (The Dead Take the A Train) doesn’t bog down his tightly woven story explaining the mechanics of his world. Instead, he doles out just enough information for readers to know what is going on without worrying about how or why.
VERDICT This solid novella will appeal to horror readers who like quirky protagonists. Recommended for fans of Kadrey’s “Sandman Slim” series or of Edgar Cantero and Jim Butcher.
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