The Weyrd Dick Of Oz
released OUT NOW! 368 pages | Paperback/ebook Author angela slatter Publisher Jo Fletcher Books
When Angel first span off from Buffy, it was a noirish supernatural private detective show – then epic arc plots took over and it developed into something very different. Vigil is very much like those early Angel episodes, except with a female lead (very not Buffy… think more Winona Ryder in Beetlejuice) and set in Brisbane.
It’s the first in the Verity Fassbinder series, and Verity is the best thing about the book. A half-Weyrd/half-human hybrid, she’s a surly, straight-talking, Doc Marten-wearing punchbag who investigates Weyrd-related crime on behalf of the beleaguered “normal” police. She’s an adorably flawed creation with a great turn of phrase that’s part Chandler, part Whedon: “I reckoned she could spit and cause an injury.”
The Brisbane she inhabits is a pretty standard urban fantasy melting pot of angels, harpies and other mythical creatures, but it’s a rich, detailed world full of colourful characters, and fun to explore. What lets the book down is a plot that starts as a hardboiled supernatural crime but escalates into a confused mess of intertwining apocalyptic threats and overegged conspiracies. But Verity herself emerges with dignity intact, and it’ll be interesting to see what’s next for her.
Verity first appeared in Slatter’s 2009 short story “Brisneyland By Night”. Read it at http://bit.ly/brisneyland.