Review – Hammers on Bone

Posted November 24, 2016 by Nicky in Reviews / 4 Comments

cover91235-mediumHammers on Bone, Cassandra Khaw 

Received to review via Netgalley

Hammers on Bone is a fun novella which blends both noir detective fiction and something that looks to me like the Cthulhu mythos, though I’m not very versed in the latter. It drips with cliches in a way that works, because the main character is a man out of time — straight from hard-boiled detective fiction, despite the modern setting. The story draws you on with the mystery of what exactly John Persons is. It’s apparent from the beginning that he’s a monster, as his client notices, but what kind of monster? What does he want? Is he actually here to help anyone?

At times I felt like I was lacking information, but I think that might be my general unfamiliarity with the Cthulhu mythos. At least, I assume so, from the little I do know. If it’s meant to stand alone, perhaps it’s a little underexplained — though that can make for great uncanny moments. We fear the unknown the most, after all.

I enjoyed the voice, and even if it’s laid on pretty thick, it makes sense and makes for a fun story. I’d happily read more in the same world. It didn’t strike me as exceptional, but it was enough fun to come back to the world again if there’s ever a chance.

Rating: 3/5

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4 responses to “Review – Hammers on Bone

  1. Sounds an intriguing mash-up, Nikki. By the way, I note you have the same problem with spelling Cthulhu as I usually do, not remembering how many letters ‘h’ to put in and where! Still unsure how to pronounce it — perhaps the second ‘h’ is a ‘y’ sound as in the Portuguese name Coelho?
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