Feliz's Reviews > Wicked Gentlemen

Wicked Gentlemen by Ginn Hale
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's review
May 08, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: fantasy, m-m, favourites, outstanding
Read in May, 2010

In an alternative reality almost Dickensian world, the demons have left Hell long ago. Their descendants,called the Prodigals, still live among mankind, distinguishable by their black fingernails, yellow eyes and pointed ears. Most of them live in a kind of ghetto beneath the human world, working the mines, watched closely by the Inquisition since Prodigals aren't supposed to live anywhere but in the Capital. The Church reigns this world, occupying all key businesses like banks, justice, healthcare and education.
One of the few Prodigals who left the Ghetto is Belimai Sykes. After surviving the Inquisition's Torture Chambers, he's seriously hurt body and soul, a drug-addict with nothing much left to lose.
When Captain William Harper is confronted with a series of Prodigal murders, he turns to Belimai Sykes for help. A man with secrets himself, Harper feels oddly attracted to the strange creature. Soon their relationship is anything else but professional.

This was my May 2010 pick it for me challenge. It was very different, very inventive and very very good.
The first part of the book, which is about the Prodigal murders, is told from Belimai's first person POV. I could only wonder about the author's imagination and her skill to introduce her world. There was no storytelling, no worldbuilding to speak of, but still Belimai's and Harper's world came alive almost unnoticeably. Their story and characters were believable within their world; there wasn't a detail out of track down to Belimai's occasional profanities and Harper's reactions to them.
Then ther's a part in third person mostly from Harper's POV which lends depth to both the persons and the world and presents another crime where Harper, the hunter, suddenly becomes the prey.
The final part was told again in Belimai's voice, ending and solving the crime in a most satisfying way. and if it felt like a fairy tale ending, who cares? Demons ARE fairy tale characters after all, and that's what Belimai is, although he sometimes reminds more to an angel (which, as Belimai tells Harper once, Demons actually are; they were angels first before they fell from grace).
A book set in a wonderfully crafted, dark world with likeable, memorable characters and a gripping plot. Highly recommended.
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