R.S. Belcher, the acclaimed author of The Six-Gun Tarot and The Shotgun Arcana launches a gritty new urban fantasy series set in today's seedy occult underworld in Nightwise.
In the more shadowy corners of the world, frequented by angels and demons and everything in-between, Laytham Ballard is a legend. It's said he raised the dead at the age of ten, stole the Philosopher's Stone in Vegas back in 1999, and survived the bloodsucking kiss of the Mosquito Queen. Wise in the hidden ways of the night, he's also a cynical bastard who stopped thinking of himself as the good guy a long time ago.
Now a promise to a dying friend has Ballard on the trail of an escaped Serbian war criminal with friends in both high and low places—and a sinister history of blood sacrifices. Ballard is hell-bent on making Dusan Slorzack pay for his numerous atrocities, but Slorzack seems to have literally dropped off the face of the Earth, beyond the reach of his enemies, the Illuminati, and maybe even the Devil himself. To find Slorzack, Ballard must follow a winding, treacherous path that stretches from Wall Street and Washington, D.C. to backwoods hollows and truckstops, while risking what's left of his very soul . . . .
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
Laytham Ballard, occult legend and self-described hillbilly, promises his dying friend Boj that he'll kill a Serbian wizard and war criminal whose atrocities include murdering Boj's wife. Ballard's vengeance quest leads him to a massive conspiracy that encompasses Washington, D.C.; the U.S. financial system; and the 9/11 attacks. The urban mage antihero cynical, haunted, morally suspect is a too-familiar archetype by now, but Ballard is a darkly funny narrator with fascinating allies in the world's mystical underbelly, known as "the Life": magical hackers, a fetish model, an Australian shaman, a Japanese gun master, and a Templar trucker. Belcher tells a tense, tightly paced story and has a knack for stomach-turning depictions of violence and gore, though he also has a fondness for heavy expository dialogue and introducing key characters very late in the novel. There are occasional missteps in the well-intentioned depictions of gender and racial diversity, and some readers may be disturbed by Belcher's treatment of 9/11.