Review: “Something More Than Night” by Ian Tregillis


Release Date:  December 3, 2013
Publisher: Tor
Genre: Fantasy, Mystery


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.” (via Goodreads)


My Thoughts

SomethingMoreThanNight-coverLike any good detective story, Ian Tregillis’ newest book Something More Than Night (a book which got its title from a like from a Raymond Chandler story), is set in a world of murder, dames, a missing valuable, and lies and betrayals, all involving plot twists upon plot twists. Thrusting together 1930s-style hardboiled detective noir with a physics-drenched fantasy about cosmic beings should mix about as well as oil and water. Something More Than Night should feel jarring and disconnected, full of purple prose, slow plotting, and mismatched tones.

It shouldn’t work, but it does. And it is glorious to behold…

Read the rest of this review at

They murdered one of the Seraphim tonight.

Gabriel streaked across the heavens like a tumbling meteor, his corpse a fireball of sublimated perfection. He had been a creature of peerless majesty, but now the throes of his death etched the firmament.

His wings, all six, shed embers of incandescent grace as he skidded across the night sky. And when he opened his mouths to scream, the Earth could do naught but shudder. The roar of his lion’s visage registered a 5.2 on the Richter, six hundred miles east of Kyoto. The bellow of his ox’s muzzle roused a dormant volcano in Hawaii. The shriek of his eagle aspect crumbled chimneys in Seattle. The inaudible cry from his human face left people from Melbourne to Perth weeping in troubled slumber, dreaming of colors that no longer existed and sounds that hadn’t been heard since the Earth was just magma and poison. Meanwhile, turbulence roiled a cloud of dark matter sleeting through the solar system.

But that was Gabriel for you. Platonically perfect, blindingly beautiful. He wasn’t just lovely, he was the kind of lovely that could make a bishop stomp his miter and curse a long blue streak on Easter Sunday.

Don’t believe me? I saw him do it once. On a bet.

Fun guy, Gabby.

Thanks to Tor for sending me a review copy.

Do the world a favor and buy this book from your local indie bookstore or get it from your public library.

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