Halloween Special: Dead Streets by Tim Waggoner

Dead Streets (Matt Richter #2)Dead Streets by Tim Waggoner

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Do you find any of the following scary?

1. Vampires
2. Werewolves
3. Ghosts
4. Zombies
5. Monsters
6. Demons

If the answer to any of the above is yes, then wait till you get a load of the mean streets of Nekroplis. If you are planning on spending your halloween there then make sure you pack a 9mm with silver bullets dipped in holy water and a pocket full of magical charms; because this city break is going to be unlike any you’ve experienced before.

Dead Street’s is Tim Waggoner’s sequel to Nekroplis, based in the underworld of the same name, established by Lord Dis and with each of its five areas ruled by one of the five Dark Lords. Matt Richter returns as the zombie detective, near fresh from his last preservation spell and famous for having saved the underworld from destruction, but he is struggling to come to terms with being in a steady relationship with his half-vampire girlfriend, Devona Kanti, especially when professional and personal lines become blurred. Whilst helping out Devona on a security gig, Richter manages to fall foul of a number of people, including a gorgon gossip queen and Nekroplis’ most feared bounty hunter. Soon after, Richter loses his head, or rather his body, and finds himself implicated (at least part of him) in the theft of a powerful artifact belonging to one of the Dark Lords. Richter, reunited with his body, finds himself the subject of Nekroplis’ largest ever man(zombie)-hunt, with everyone and their undead mummy gunning for him, whilst he tries to uncover who killed him for the second time and who is the actual thief behind the stolen artifact.

The world-building is as rich as it was in the first novel, allowing Waggoner to take us deeper into Nekroplis (literally) and meet some of the astonishing and frightful characters that roam the streets and the city’s version of prison/hell. There are a few familiar returning characters, but for most part we are treated to a whole new cast, as well as a new bunch of relational dynamics that not only fleshes out the world (excuse the unintentional puns) but adds to its mythos. The plot is just as gripping as the original, the dark humour is fresh, with the pacing equal to any thriller currently in the bestseller charts. One thing that Waggoner does exceptional well is foreshadowing, with enough clues injected throughout the book to ensure that the reader never feels cheated by the reveal. Budding writers should take note of Dead Streets to learn how well it works when done right.

Dead Streets is my Halloween recommendation and gets a well deserved four stars. Waggoner goes from strength to strength.

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