I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Spy Who Haunted Me by Simon R. Green
This urban fantasy is a hardcover edition was published by Gollancz on April 16, 2009 and has 336 pages.
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Other books by this author include Something From the Nightside, Mean Streets, Agents of Light and Darkness, Nightingale's Lament, Paths Not Taken, Sharper Than a Serpent's Tooth, Hell to Pay, Just Another Judgement Day, The Good, the Bad, and the Uncanny, A Hard Day's Knight, Hex and the City, The Unnatural Inquirer, The Bride Wore Black Leather, Home Improvement: Undead Edition, Hex Appeal, Man with the Golden Torc, Daemons are Forever, From Hell with Love, For Heaven's Eyes Only, Live and Let Drood, Casino Infernale, Blue Moon Rising, Tales of the Hidden World, Blood and Honor, From a Drood to a Kill, The Dark Side of the Road, Dead Man Walking, Very Important Corpses
Third in the Secret Histories urban fantasy series about the Drood family who are the hidden protectors of the world.
Well, this was interesting. It was a lot of short stories woven into a larger tale of six of the world’s greatest secret agents invited to play a game with the winner to gain all of Alexander King’s, the Independent Agent’s, secrets. And Green has brought Walker from the Nightside in as one of the participants.
I love it! The Hiring Hall is incorporated as Pound of Flesh, Inc. with a tagline of We always take our cut. How very Shakespearean, LOL. Oh, then there’s the Druid Nation with Let’s put the fear back into Halloween!
It’s funny, it’s outrageous, it’s full of snark as the agents all take jabs at each other. It makes fun of, well, you name it. And this time around, Green brings in a bit of the Nightside with Walker as one of the gamesters. It was rather odd reading a story in which Walker is not treated as scarier than God.
In between it all, there’s Eddie trying to make peace with everyone, to foster a sense of teamwork.
There’s an attempt to bring sex into this, but it falls flat. Then there’s Walker using his Voice. Once. After that he supposedly doesn’t have it. Huh??
Oooh, a Drood at Strangefellows in the Nightside. I suspect Eddie will be quite happy never to return!
Another upheaval in who rules the Drood family and Eddie can’t decide if he’s happy or not about it. All of which becomes moot when he’s invited to participate in King’s game to discover which of six of the world’s most promising agents will survive a game he has devised.
They are to go out into the world and solve five mysteries, starting with the Loch Ness monster. Each agent brings their strengths and contacts — where communications are possible — to solve each mystery. Most of the mysteries require intuition and knowledge to even figure out what the mystery is!
It’s a deadly game with helpful results. Well, helpful to the inhabitants anyway. And threats from some very capable enemies.
Eddie Drood, a.k.a., Shaman Bond, ruled his family — the one that rules the Universe — for a short time, but he’s back in London as a field agent. Molly Metcalf has moved back to the wild woods and Eddie spends as much time as he can with her although it’s not much in this story.
Martha Drood is the Matriarch of the Droods, Eddie’s grandmother. William is the whacko Librarian with Rafe as his assistant (and nanny); Uncle Jack is the Armourer who has way too much fun in his workshop (think of James Bond’s Q); Cousin Harry is still around with his partner, Roger, the half-demon, his half-brother, AND his lover; there’s still a Cedric as Sergeant-at-Arms, but he’s sneakier than his predecessor; Ethel is still happily involved; and, Callan has recovered…mostly.
The other agents include the Blue Fairy with his stolen torc; Honey Lake is CIA; Walker is…well, he’s Walker from the Nightside, a force to be reckoned with; Peter King is the Independent Agent’s grandson who specializes in industrial espionage; and, Lethal Harmony of Kathmandu uses her sex to sway those around her.
Queen Mab has re-taken her throne from Oberon and Titania and has designs upon our world.
Big Aus is part of an Australian gang interested in embarrassing the Queen. He’s already hired on Coffin Jobe who has a tendency to fall down dead; the Dancing Fool who is the fastest fighter in the world with his déjà fu; and, Strange Chloe, the Goth’s Goth, who can crumble the world with her gaze.
Philip MacAlpine is paying for the mistakes of Daemons are Forever, 2. Silly bugger, he should have known better!
The Cover and Title
The cover is quite a colorful collage of events in its bright lime green electrifying the U.S.S. Eldridge with a beautiful royal blue sky behind and a decrepit pier before it. One of his fellow spies and Eddie are in silhouette in the foreground.
I’m not really sure where the title came from. There are several possibilities from Eddie feeling the losses, the Independent Agent’s history, and/or the mysterious person who keeps following them. Any of these could be The Spy Who Haunted Me.