A Song for Quiet by Cassandra Khaw
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Shortly after the death of his father, bluesman Deacon James rolls into Arkham with an otherworldly song in his head and a sinister detective, John Persons, on his trail...
I follow Cassandra Khaw on twitter and she mentioned needing reviews for this. Since I liked her first John Persons novella, Hammers on Bone, I was all over it like a ghoul on an unsuspecting citizen of Arkham.
Noir mixed with cosmic horror is the best combo since chocolate and peanut butter and A Song for Quiet is a prime example. Much like in Lovecraft Country, the horrors of the cosmos mesh with the mundane horrors of racism and ignorance. Deacon James is much more worried about white folks putting the screws to him, partially in the form of the strange detective on his trail, than horrors from beyond the stars.
Melding music with Lovecraftiana isn't a totally new concept but Khaw does a great job with it here. The truth behind the song was in keeping with Lovecraftian tradition while still being fresh. Actually, the only gripe I have about the tale is I wish I'd read this one before Hammers on Bone so I wouldn't have an inkling what John Persons was up to.
Khaw's prose reminds me of Laird Barron's, a great blend of pulp and poetry. Where's my full length John Persons novel, Khaw? Where?
Silliness aside, this was one hell of a read. Four out of five squamous, suckered stars.
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