Recalling famous magical detectives, like Harry Dresden and others, Matthew Davis’ RED SKY BLUES goes in a completely different direction with occult mysticism, zombie pigs, and clouds of cockroaches. Not your thing? Well, it isn’t exactly Thomas Grey’s thing either, but he has had quite a day.
Thomas, short on cash, is hired by the magical “mayor” of his hometown to track down a book that contains world ending powers. Aided by his ancient, grumpy mentor and his rather kind, but ruthless muscle, Thomas finds himself in an ever twisting mystery that will only make the day become worse.
Davis has managed to create characters who are memorable right from the start and remain the strongest part of this entire story. The idea of a main character who isn’t as skilled as his sidekicks isn’t new, but the plot is sure to throw curve-ball after curve-ball to keep all of them on their toes, no matter how “well equipped” they are. Combined with smooth prose, it makes for an entertaining and fast-paced read.
Diving into Thomas’ thoughts, doubts, and wishes, but effortlessly fleshes out the secondary characters as well, is not a common talent, which Davis nails. Swift, Rosa, and Hack all bring unique flavors and fun, engaging dialogue(and conflict) to each scene. The plot only covers just about a day, but by the end I was left wishing for more. These urban fantasy, magical sleuths usually follow a certain formula, but RED SKY BLUES is not your typical mystery nor is Thomas Grey your typical mage.
Any reader who is familiar with Dresden or wants a magically infused cosmic noir read should pick this up without a second thought.