Wednesday, 27 January 2021

URBAN FANTASY REVIEW: Stranger TImes - CK McDonnell

Release Date:  14/01/21

Publisher: Bantam Press


There are dark forces at work in our world (and in Manchester in particular), so thank God The Stranger Times is on hand to report them . . .

A weekly newspaper dedicated to the weird and the wonderful (but mostly the weird), it is the go-to publication for the unexplained and inexplicable.

At least that's their pitch. The reality is rather less auspicious. Their editor is a drunken, foul-tempered and foul-mouthed husk of a man who thinks little of the publication he edits. His staff are a ragtag group of misfits. And as for the assistant editor . . . well, that job is a revolving door - and it has just revolved to reveal Hannah Willis, who's got problems of her own.

When tragedy strikes in her first week on the job The Stranger Times is forced to do some serious investigating. What they discover leads to a shocking realisation: some of the stories they'd previously dismissed as nonsense are in fact terrifyingly real. Soon they come face-to-face with darker forces than they could ever have imagined.

The Stranger Times is the first novel from C.K. McDonnell, the pen name of Caimh McDonnell. It combines his distinctive dark wit with his love of the weird and wonderful to deliver a joyous celebration of how truth really can be stranger than fiction. 



I love a book that takes the world and flips it on its head, and whilst this tale has a certain feeling of good omens within, its totally unique with the addition of solid characters and a world that is like our own but with the creepy nature to one side.

Well written with good prose and of course characters that you not only want to spend time with but feel fleshed out with their dialogue will have you thinking of people you know as we all have some characters within our daily lives, cracking twists, personal drama alongside apocalypic world bending conspiracy theories go to make this a book that whilst I found a little hard to get into originally was more than pleased I carried on to the end.

All round a top notch read and an opener to a series that will hit the spot with a large number of readers especially fans of not only Terry Pratchett but Tom Holt. Definitely a series to watch and for me gives me something else to look forward to during this pandemic.

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