Book Review

Dead Man in a Ditch Review

Dead Man in a Ditch



A former soldier turned PI solves crime in a world that’s lost its magic in this brilliant sequel to actor Luke Arnold’s debut The Last Smile in Sunder City.

The name’s Fetch Phillips — what do you need?

Cover a Gnome with a crossbow while he does a dodgy deal? Sure.

Find out who killed Lance Niles, the big-shot businessman who just arrived in town? I’ll give it shot.

Help an old-lady Elf track down her husband’s murderer? That’s right up my alley.

What I don’t do, because it’s impossible, is search for a way to bring the goddamn magic back.

Rumors got out about what happened with the Professor, so now people keep asking me to fix the world.

But there’s no magic in this story. Just dead friends, twisted miracles, and a secret machine made to deliver a single shot of murder.

My Review

This had a solid start, I was pretty excited to get back to Sunder City and to our ‘man for hire.’

Fetch Phillips is a man everyone loves to hate, and yet he still tries to stick to his own code of morals, he won’t work for humans, the magical beings of Sunder have already lost enough thanks to them. Thanks to Fetch.

Still word on the street is that Fetch is looking for magic, after last book and his dalliance with the vampire, people are eager to believe someone is out there looking. No matter how much Fetch insists that’s not the case, he keeps getting wrapped up in situations where it appears to be just that.

While Fetch is taking cases and turning away those with the hope of the return of magic, he gets wrapped up in more trouble. I mean, this is deep shit even for Fetch Phillips.

He has ghosts and memories from his past coming back to haunt him, and it’ll turn out some of the ghosts are more alive than one could imagine.

I adored the pacing in this, it just kept me wrapped up in Sunder the whole time, and actually! Fetch shows us a couple of places outside Sunder as well in this book!

Arnold expands his world-building, and the gray morality of Fetch is steady. He’s not a bad man but Fetch sure does make some bad choices. We get more characters introduced and the city itself is the best character of all. Luke Arnold gives life to it, it is grimy, grim, and once a beacon of magic but the heart of the city beats on, even if it’s an unsteady rhythm.

Fetch has some spectacular character growth and development, he doesn’t suddenly turn into a clean guy full of hope, but he finds himself and finds a purpose which is what this man for hire really needed.

I loved seeing the lengths people would go to for just a glimpse of the possibility of magic, and the various ways they leaned toward ‘good’ or ‘bad’ because of that possibility/hope.

If you love a good mystery and urban fantasy, I HIGHLY recommend this series.

Another great novel in a very promising series, I can’t wait for book 3. Thank you so much to Orbit for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

By TheCaffeinatedReader

A Caffeinated Reader and Musician, destined to write lacklustre book reviews with the over-ample amount of free time.

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