Housetrap by R. J. Hore

Housetrap by R. J. Hore
The Housetrap Chronicles, 1
Publisher: Burst Books
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (85 Pages)
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Reviewed by Cyclamen

A missing boyfriend, an elf on the run and Martian vampires. What’s a private eye to do?

Randolf C. Aloysius is a hard-boiled private eye in the best sense of that profession. He says that he is a Mongrel. “You can never tell about Mongrels, and there are more of us around now ever since the Goldilocks affair.” I was hooked by the opening of this novel: “I don’t like Elves, never have. I sat tilting back in my chair counting the stains on the ceiling when she walked through the open door of my inner office unannounced.” The story takes place in the future on Earth when travel to other planets is commonplace. It is a world populated with many different species, such as Banshees, Elves, Demons, Vampires, Trolls, and even some humans, although there aren’t any human characters in this story.

The plot starts out simply enough. Aloysius is hired to find a runaway lover and an antique wedding ring. However, as he soon discovers, nothing is simple about this job, and the plot moves swiftly with lots of twists and turns before the job is completed. I really liked the use of the first person narrator, and Aloysius has a unique way of looking at the world. The descriptions of Central City are detailed and fascinating. “Outside, evening settled around Central City. A gentle rain streaked the windowpane, creating false images and moving pictures that faded and ran. The flickering glow from the dangling yellow bulb overhead cast barely enough light to read the note by. The wizards at the powerhouse were having problems harnessing the tornadoes again tonight.”

The story is definitely plot driven and the other characters serve that plot. Aloysius doesn’t trust any of them and so neither did I, and it turns out that no one is quite what they seem and everyone is out for whatever they can get. Aloysius has to navigate through webs of deception and he manages that very skillfully.

If you enjoy the hard-boiled crime novel set in a fantastic world with lots of interesting characters, then this just might be what you are looking for.

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