Review: Dead Harvest

By Chris F. Holm

Angry Robot, out now

Sam Thornton collects souls – usually from people who deserve the damnation that follows. But when he is sent on a job and realises that the girl from whom he is meant to collect is innocent, he finds himself on course for major trouble…

Chris F. Holm’s first novel in The Collector series hits the ground running, and keeps the reader engrossed throughout all three hundred pages, as we learn who and what Sam is, what made him that way, and why he will do anything to ensure that he doesn’t take an innocent life.

Told in a hard-boiled style that suits the subject matter, this wanders into similar territory (but approached far more grittily) as the recent TV series Eternal Law, with angels and demons in “human” form on Earth, their battles going on around mankind. Somehow though you can’t quite see Sam West’s urbane solicitor fitting in that well into the violent world that Sam Thornton inhabits!

Filled with well-drawn characters, both in the contemporary tale and within the flashbacks, Dead Harvest has all the twists and turns of a noir thriller, combined with fantasy elements that mean all bets are off at certain times. And although most plotlines are neatly sorted out at the end, there’s enough left hanging to make you want to know just when the second book is coming out…

Verdict: A clever urban fantasy that deserves a wide audience.  8/10

Paul Simpson

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