Fresh Fiction | 31 May 2010 | Diana Troldahl

"If the Cardinal pinched the cheeks of his arse, the walls of the city bruised. They were that close, Siamese twins, joined by a wretched, twisted soul."

Capac Raimi arrives in the city clutching a suitcase, dreaming of making a mark as a gangster. He settles in with his uncle and begins learning the trade. The Cardinal takes him under his wing, giving him a start in the insurance business, but as people start to disappear, leaving Capac the only one who remembers, his curiosity outweighs his ambition and leads him down ever stranger paths.

Seeded from the grittiest of realities, the sense of phantasm grows until you are enmeshed in a tale that seems lost to reason, yet you keep going, hooked on the questions Shan raises.

Well-written, harsh, peopled with characters with an edge of familiarity who side-step the predictable, PROCESSION OF THE DEAD is an adult, noirish, urban fantasy; it lays down a solid structure upon which the rest of the trilogy may be built. Darren Shan is the nom de plume of Darren O'Shaughnessy, better known for his young adult books written as D. B. Shan.

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