As a genre we often love an underdog, especially when we know that there’s more to them than at first meets the eye. On the winning side here is the level of snark that Luke manages to give Fetch. But at the same time, we are aware that Fetch is also suffering, a victim of what has gone before ... Luke manages to fill in more of the background in this book, the telling of which helps us work out who Fetch is and why he is in this state. The tone is never especially happy, but the reasons for things being this way help the reader understand why. The clever thing is that the characterisation is not too deep, yet more than the usual basic outline ... I enjoyed Dead Man more than the first novel, as the characters deepen, the situations become more varied and the author settles into the telling of the tale rather than having to do too much world-building. I would still read Last Smile first (although this book does stand-alone pretty well) but this one is good, and I read it through in a couple of sessions. I look forward to more in the future.
Arnold’s universe has everything, including the angst of being human. The perfect story for adult fantasy fans—a tough PI and a murder mystery wrapped around the mysticism of Hogwarts, sprinkled with faerie dust.
Fetch grows tremendously as a character; events don’t allow him to wallow in self pity for long. As in the book’s predecessor, the supporting cast provides much entertainment, and often their stories are as compelling as the main plot. Fans of Arnold’s first novel will want to pick this up to continue the story of Fetch—and of Sunder City as well.