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Something More Than Night

Something More Than Night by Ian Tregillis

Something More Than Night is a Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler-inspired murder mystery set in Thomas Aquinas’s vision of Heaven. It’s a noir detective story starring fallen angels, the heavenly choir, nightclub stigmatics, a priest with a dirty secret, a femme fatale, and the Voice of God.

Somebody has murdered the angel Gabriel. Worse, the Jericho Trumpet has gone missing, putting Heaven on the brink of a truly cosmic crisis. But the twisty plot that unfolds from the murder investigation leads to something much bigger: a con job one billion years in the making.

Because this is no mere murder. A small band of angels has decided to break out of heaven, but they need a human patsy to make their plan work.

Much of the story is told from the point of view of Bayliss, a cynical fallen angel who has modeled himself on Philip Marlowe. The yarn he spins follows the progression of a Marlowe novel — the mysterious dame who needs his help, getting grilled by the bulls, finding a stiff, getting slipped a mickey

Angels and gunsels, dames with eyes like fire, and a grand maguffin, Something More Than Night is a murder mystery for the cosmos.

When I first read about Something More Than Night, I knew that I HAD to read this book. I have been steadily exploring the angelic side of urban fantasy in the last year and these book aren't just pretty cool, their are awesome. There is wide variety of influences on how these stories are being told, for example The Watchers by John Steele and Blood and Feather: Rebellion by Lou Morgan are completely different. The promise of Something More Than Night, again showed a new direction, a noir detective story featuring fallen angels. I have only read Bitter Seeds, the first book in the Milkweed Triptych and I was amazed by Ian Tregillis's story telling and his imagination. I can tell you upfront that Something More Than Night is something completely different but just as brilliant. 

Something More Than Night, picked me up from the first pages. You are immediately thrown in the deep, the Angel Gabriel has been murdered, but who has done this deed is unknown. I have to give full praise to how Ian Tregillis wrote the introduction to the story, the scene that described this all was just immaculately, I will probably say this word more often but it's just sheer brilliance. Soon after this you get to meet up with the protagonist of Something More Than Night, the fallen angel Bayliss. I was very pleased with how his character was shown all throughout the story from the way he talks to the way he acts and his all attitude combined. He is what you are going to say a old school mobster. His slang really helped to set the mood just right. Bayliss is leading the investigation as to who murdered Gabriel and where the heck the Jericho Trumpet has gone off too. With Bayliss, Ian Tregillis has created a rock solid and like I mentioned pretty interesting protagonist. His whole attitude towards partly nonchalence and layed back but when it comes down to dealing Bayliss doesn't spare anyone. Next to Bayliss there is another character in Something More Than Night, Molly. 

Now it is said that it happened due to chance, the "accident" with Bayliss and Molly. This accident is only the start of it all as Bayliss feels compelled to help guide Molly into her new life as an angel, this leads up to some quite interesting dialogues and situations. They have this very strong love-hate relationship. This decision of Ian Tregillis to have Bayliss guide Molly into her new role was great, by this interaction you as a reader learned much more about the dynamics of the world until deep into the fine details, pacing wise this was a solid decision as there was never a moment wherein explaining the events felt as a story dump but it all came natural, keeping the flow of the story right. Getting back to Molly, her storyline does largely coincide with that of Bayliss, but she is still going her own way. For Molly she has to come to terms with what is to be dead.. and an angel.. and still able to interact with her surrounding but with some horrible consequences. I really liked the transition that Molly underwent from reading her first thoughts when she was still human, to when she died and came back right down until the end. But this isn't all that takes place in her story, Bayliss is carrying out his own investigation. But Molly soon takes the reigns into her own hand and makes some discoveries of herself... both for the better and worse for the parties involved. The plot twist that you are introduced to is just wow, you are being led into one direction and then all of a sudden like a doorslamming close you are being woken up and confronted with some of the bestest (yeah i know, it isn't a word) plot twist that I have read. It put a huge slime on my face!

If I think about it, Something More Than Night is my first noir detective themed story and if I am going to be totally honest, I have no clue as to what the references might mean with the Dashiell Hammet and Raymond Chandler inspiration as with Thomas Aquinas's vision of Heaven. I can google it but then still I have no experience whatsoever. However not having this knowledge didn't take anything, I just approached it as a mean mobster type of story and I think a bit in essence, especially how Bayliss talks is downright a classic kind off mobster style which is thoroughly liked. This noir themed story isn't only held together by how Bayliss does his thing, if you look at the whole story from world building to the characters is so rich and combined with the solid narration that Ian Tregillis provides everything resonates even more. From the first page of Something More Than Night it feels like you are in a mobster movie, however, as soon as you see the references to the world where the story takes place, it isn't in the normal mobster era. It inspires something of an science fiction future, where the world has definitely changed from what we all know. I really liked the occasional references to the surroundings of the world in which the story took place (on "Earth" that is, I will get to some other dimensions soon). It really embodied a grand, dark and gritty feeling to the story, and with the angel theme it rang that much stronger. 

But the story of Something More Than Night doesn't only takes place on Earth, like I mentioned above there is an extra dimension added to the story, literally that is. There is this place called Pleroma, which is the version of Heaven there is also something known as the Magisterium, the personal Heaven of the angels in the story. When these places are visited in the story it on one part inspires this feeling of heaven but with some very heavy undertones of a shadowy feeling. It just comes to show that this version of Heaven isn't what we think it is, throw away your vision of the perfect place... What I have been able to glimpse from the Milkweed Triptych and now Something More Than Night, if you read a story of Ian Tregillis, your in for a good one, he shows you his vision, his idea's and his world on platter and your on a front row seat! Besides these heavenly things, there is something more, the Voice of God, METATRON, just reading about this inspired fear in me, however when you see how several characters think about what this voice actually is makes you yourself wonder..

Something More Than Night is a great story, wait stop, no, it's brilliant. This is the stuff you want to read. To start, the idea behind the story is interesting to say the least and the execution of the story makes it even more so. From the characters of Bayliss and Molly down to the dark tinged near future/post apocalytic feel that the world gives it's one heavenly hell of a ride, where Ian Tregillis invites you on in a front row seat. I cant wait to see what kind off story Ian Tregillis will give us next, but I know that it will be a success.



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