Even Though I Knew the End
Winner of the Nebula Award!
A New York Times Best Romance of 2022!
C. L. Polk turns their considerable powers to a fantastical noir with Even Though I Knew the End.
“Eerie, sharp and fiercely bittersweet.” —The New York Times
A magical detective dives into the affairs of Chicago's divine monsters to secure a future with the love of her life. This sapphic period piece will dazzle anyone looking for mystery, intrigue, romance, magic, or all of the above.
An exiled augur who sold her soul to save her brother's life is offered one last job before serving an eternity in hell. When she turns it down, her client sweetens the pot by offering up the one payment she can't resist—the chance to have a future where she grows old with the woman she loves.
To succeed, she is given three days to track down the White City Vampire, Chicago's most notorious serial killer. If she fails, only hell and heartbreak await.
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
World Fantasy Award winner Polk (The Midnight Bargain) does what they do best with this genre-bending fantasy noir novella that brings lofty magic to a grimy 1940s city and showcases queer love along the way. Ten years earlier, warlock and private investigator Elena Brandt made a deal with the devil, bargaining away her soul to save the most precious thing in the world to her. Now she has only three days left before her deal is up and she goes to Hell. She should be spending that precious time with Edith Jarosky, the love of her life, or Teddy, her estranged brother. Instead, her best client reveals herself to be a demon and makes Elena an offer she can't refuse: if Elena can track down a serial killer, she can have her soul back and live out her days in comfort with Edith. Simple enough except the murders are gruesome human sacrifices used to invoke an ancient, evil, and terribly powerful magic. Though readers will wish they had more time to explore this shadowy world, Polk's focus on character development makes every interaction matter as they craft a layered exploration of love and power with genuine emotional stakes and a soaring, perfectly bittersweet payoff. It's another winner.