The Year of the Knife
Published by: Meerkat Press
Publication date: November 28th 2017
Genres: Adult, Thriller, Urban Fantasy
Agent -Sully- Sullivan is one of the top cops in the Imperial Bureau of Investigation. A veteran witch of the British Empire who isn’t afraid to use her magical skills to crack a case. But Sully might need more than a good education and raw power to stop the string of grisly murders that have been springing up across the American Colonies. Every one of them marked by the same chilling calling card, a warning in the form of a legion of voices screaming out through the killers’ mouths: -It IS tHe YEAr oF the KNife.-
Sully’s investigation will drag her away from the comforts of home in New Amsterdam, the beautiful but useless hyacinth macaw that used to be her boss, and the loving arms of her undead girlfriend, in a thrilling race against time, demonic forces and a shadowy conspiracy that will do anything to keep its hold on power and ensure that Sully takes their secrets to her grave, as soon as possible.
G.D. Penman’s imaginative The Year of the Knife is a fun, fast-paced urban fantasy mystery with an engaging set of characters, most notably Agent Sully of the Imperial Bureau of Investigation.
Sully had heard demons speak before. They rarely had anything smart to say, being more interested in screeching elaborate threats, but when they did speak it sort of sounded like a squid gargling rocks. The voice from around the corner didn’t sound like a demon’s—it sounded like a chorus of screaming voices all trying to squeeze through one mouth. “WE cAN SMELL YoU litTLE WITcH.” There was a staggering footstep. “COMe out anD PLAy.”
Whatever this was, Sully had never heard anything like it before. She took a steadying breath then stepped around the corner. It was a man, presumably Mr. Underwood. His clothes hung loosely on his body, everything slightly out of place. His thinning hair had fallen out of its greasy comb-over and was dangling off the side of his lolling head. He moved in a series of twitches; the overall impression was of a broken toy. In his hand was a kitchen knife, a big steely one that was stained with blood. The door behind him was covered in wild slashes, but he had not managed to break through. Sully took another deep breath and his head jerked around to follow the sound. Although his eyes didn’t seem to lock onto her, his mouth flapped open and that noise came out again, “TELL yoUR MASters. TELL them thaT WE aRE COMING BacK.”
Sully leveled her sword at him and hoarsely whispered, “Drop the weapon.”
His head rolled on his shoulders and his face twisted into an almost comical rictus, like he was noticing the bloody knife in his hand for the first time. Sully heard a sound like the wind rustling leaves and slowly realized it was meant to be a laugh. He took one staggering step forward, arms dangling limp at his sides. That was all the provocation that Sully needed. She darted forward and thrust the sword into his chest—close to the heart, if not straight through it. She felt the blade glance off a rib and lodge solidly in one of the bones in his back. When she couldn’t tug it free and he wasn’t falling, she leapt back, freeing her hands in case she needed them.
The man looked down at the sword sticking out of his chest with all signs of amusement. He took another dragging step towards her and hissed, “It IS tHE YEAR oF the KNIfe.”
G D Penman writes Speculative Fiction. He lives in Scotland with his partner and children, some of whom are human. He is a firm believer in the axiom that any story is made better by dragons. His beard has won an award. If you have ever read a story with Kaiju and queer people, it was probably one of his. In those few precious moments that he isn’t parenting or writing he likes to watch cartoons, play video and tabletop games, read more books than are entirely feasible and continue his quest to eat the flesh of every living species.