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Book Review: Something from the Nightside by Simon R. Green

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Something from the Nightside is the first in Simon R. Green’s Nightside Series, a group of books based around John Taylor, a private detective that has a gift for finding lost things.

John has been living in London for five years when Joanna Barett, a rich business woman, asks him to find her missing daughter Cathy. She has one clue, Nightside. John left the Nightside, swearing never to go back, but he’s a sucker for someone in need and agrees to find the girl for a hefty price. The one condition Joanna has is that she gets to go along.

The Nightside is a square mile in the middle of London, except that it’s bigger than that, and it’s always three in the morning. All kinds live there: myths, monsters, dreams, and a few seemingly normal people just passing through. It’s where you go to find the things that can only live in the dead of night.

John, who’s name is still spoken of in the Nightside, goes back to one of his old haunts to collect some information on the missing girl. In Strangefellows, a bar that has been open since the beginning of time, John runs into one of his old friends, Razor Eddie, the Punk God of the Straight Razor. Except that in the Nightside things are not always what they seem and friends are not always friends. From there, it’s a wild ride through the dark streets in search of Cathy.

Simon R. Green fills the book with characters that really stand out. From Razor Eddie to Suzie Shooter, better known as Shotgun Suzie, and even John himself; these characters are never quite what they seem, just like the Nightside. John’s past is hinted at, but nothing really solid comes through. I’m hoping in the future books you learn more about his past and why his name is remembered, for one reason or another, by everyone in the Nightside.

Something from the Nightside is a quick horrific novel. From insects exploding out of a man’s body to faceless men with hypodermic needles for fingers, this novel is filled with images straight from your darkest nightmares. Throw in a little noir style and dark rich atmosphere, and you have one heck of a read.

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