Supernatural meets L.A. Confidential in this contemporary fantasy noir fantasy.
Laytham Ballard once protected humanity as part of the Nightwise, a secret order of modern-day mages dedicating to holding hellish supernatural forces at bay. That was before a string of sadistic ritual murders shook everything he believed in — and sent him down a much darker path. One that has already cost him most of his soul, as well as everything he once held dear.
Now a powerful faerie mob boss has hired Ballard to find his lost-lost daughter, who went missing several years ago. The long-cold trail leads him across the globe, from the luxurious playgrounds of the rich and famous to the seedy occult underbelly of Los Angeles, where creatures of myth and legend mingle with street gangs and sex clubs, and where Ballard finds his own guilty past waiting for him around every shadowy corner. To find Caern Ankou, he will have to confront old enemies, former friends and allies, and a grisly cold case that has haunted him for years.
Is Caern still alive? And, perhaps more importantly, does she want to be found?
Rod Belcher won the Grand Prize in the Strange New Worlds SF-writing contest. He runs Cosmic Castle, a comic book shop in Roanoke, Virginia.