A thief just out of prison is recruited to steal a powerful magical talisman.
Kadrey (Killing Pretty, 2015, etc.) takes a break from his popular Sandman Slim series to offer a stand-alone horror-comedy that pulls heavily from all manner of genres and throws in everything but the kitchen sink. The novel opens 4,000 years ago on an angel, Qaphsiel, who’s normally in charge of office supplies for the heavenly host but is on a quick mission to Earth when he loses the titular MacGuffin. Back in the present day, Charlie “Coop” Cooper is using his light-fingered talents and a talkative poltergeist to steal some documents when he’s busted by the LAPD’s Criminal Thaumaturgy squad. After a quick stint in the pokey, Coop hooks back up with his buddy Morty Ramsey, who’s been approached with a pricey breaking and entering job that could net them hundreds of thousands of dollars. An enigmatic client named Mr. Babylon wants to hire Coop to steal a family heirloom from a rival, but he has his doubts about Coop’s abilities. “I have something you don’t, Mr. Babylon,” Coop explains. “Another ability. A rare one. I’m immune to magic. Conjury, enchantments, fascinations, mesmerisms, mind reading, and ladies sawed in half. The whole bit.” From here, the book explodes into an overstuffed heist movie complete with a band of duplicitous cronies, two bickering agents from the government's Department of Peculiar Science, a hard-traveling murderer cut from the same cloth as Cormac McCarthy’s Anton Chigurh, and a pair of inept cults that are mostly around for comic relief. It’s all a bit much to take in, and Kadrey offers a lot of stylistic similarities to Gaiman and Pratchett’s superior Good Omens (2009). Nevertheless, there’s definitely an audience for this kind of madcap supernatural comedy, and it’s likely to find those readers pretty handily.
A supernatural comic caper that reads like one of the late Donald Westlake’s Dortmunder novels sprinkled with some fairy dust.