Nocturnes in Purgatory
Well, no doubt about it, we do live in complicated times. One just never knows quite who to trust anymore. We may not have had the Apocalypse yet, however we do live in a post-Apocalyptic world of fear and paranoia. You walk down a street, see a shadowy figure dash into an alleyway and you stop before passing, unsure whether that person was a mugger, a drug dealer, someone innocent looking for a quiet place to make a phone call, or maybe it’s a vampire.
In the case of Nocturnes in Purgatory, it might really be a vampire. However, not to worry, as these vampires are under the watchful eyes of a secretive investigative branch of the US government known as the UCCCF, standing for the Urban Crimes Crisis Control Force. The vampires are not the run-of-the-mill shiny-skinned or bloody-fanged caricatures of Hollywood movies. Oh no, these vampires or Moon-Chosen blend in very well. Despite having signed treaties with the United Nations, the Moon-Chosen are still bent on mayhem and destruction.
Enter Montgomery Quinn, the hero of Armstead’s novels. Quinn is as hard-boiled a private detective as anyone Dashiell Hammett ever dreamt up, except he also has a difference: Quinn is not quite human too. He is an Olympian; not with skills in equestrian or javelin events, but rather in Extra Sensory Perception; plus Olympians are as extremely long-lived as their Moon-Chosen adversaries.
That should give the reader a fairly good sense of this novel’s mise en scene. Working from his observations of the dark and violent world we live in, Armstead has crafted a novel that somehow manages to build the fantastical elements noted above into a weave with observations on the deep divisions which plague modern life. Hatred of nations not our own, hatred of people (or beings) not quite like us, the whole paranoid panoply is presented.
Those who enjoy supernatural plots mixed with gumshoe detective work will find this an interesting read.
By Light Unseen Media