Paul D. Brazill’s “Supernatural Noir” (Close to the Bone) is like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup: “You got some supernatural in my noir” “No, you got noir in my supernatural”. And then hilarity of horror ensues. A series of collected short stories, Brazill’s work focuses on a place called The City, it’s like Gotham infused with Lon Chaney, Béla Lugosi, and Christopher Lee.
A reader should go into “Supernatural Noir” with the viewpoint that they’ll be reading the pulp of the pulp. There’s a werewolf PI, zombies, vampires, golems and other monsters. There are heinous crimes of bodies being ripped apart and law and order’s battle against the criminal anarchy sweeping The City. It’s pulpy!
These are older stories by Brazill and at times it shows. There’s still his wit, the good music, and frankness of language, but it is muddled in spots. It isn’t always the tight sharp writing that Brazill usually delivers. If you’ve read any of Brazill’s current work, you will see in “Supernatural Noir” a writer developing his distinctive voice. If you like reading Brazill–and who doesn’t–, you should give this short story collection a twirl because it’s Brazill and there are zombies. Oh yeah, get it because it’s going for a little over a buck.