This is the second of Dominic Piper’s Beckett novels, and the third and last that I read. I’m not entirely sure why I didn’t read them in publishing order, but the fact is that there’s nothing to stop you picking up any of these stories at random, and diving right in to Daniel Beckett’s London.
Daniel Beckett is as intimately familiar with the streets of London as Sherlock Holmes, without the cerebral aloofness; as hard-boiled as Philip Marlowe, without the nihilism; and even more successful with the ladies than James Bond, without the casual indifference.
Like Kiss Me When I’m Dead and Femme Fatale, Death is the New Black is a dazzling detective thriller. The mystery is engrossing, from the first pages, the villains are truly evil, without being cartoonish, and the stories are bursting with truly memorable characters.
The “Interstate Four ghost” is the typical stuff of urban legend: a half-remembered ancient crime, sightings of a ghostly woman on the side of the highway. What else is a bunch of college kids to do, but check it out? Mayhem and chills naturally ensue.
A surprisingly touching love story between the human girl and the centaur futanari
Kel has been a fan of jousting champion, the centaur Taria, ever since she was a little girl. Then a chance encounter in the city brings them together. Kel’s suddenly finds her wildest dreams coming true. She not only becomes Taria’s new squire, but also discovers that this centaur lady has a secret – a magnificent horse cock!
Like “Leon, the Professional” minus the light-hearted gaiety
A murderous baby-doll raised in isolation by an assassin, and a cold-blooded hit-man whose only friend is a sadistic serial-killer might not seem to be the stuff of romance, but W. Noir brings this unlikeliest pair together in a darkly steamy story that grips the reader and doesn’t let go.
This one isn’t romance, per se, and especially not erotica. But it is a great collection of SF that you should check out.
Some of the stories do have a romance theme, or at least subplot. The Analogue Cat is a beautifully tragic romance, while A Bedsheet for a Cape in part explores the ramifications of romantic attraction between humans and intelligent, genetically engineered creatures.