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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nightside noir
Simon R. Green's Nightside is the REAL dark side of London -- a city full of sleazy supernaturals and dark secrets, perpetually locked in night.

And "The Unnatural Inquirer" is Simon R. Green's eighth fantasy-noir set in the Nightside -- it's full of weird crimes, crazy inhabitants, and strange power grabs. This isn't quite Green's best, but it has his usual...
Published on 17 Jan. 2008 by E. A Solinas

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2.0 out of 5 stars Another filler novel with no impact on the rest of the series
The Unnatural Inquirer is the 8th book in the Nightside series and apparently proof that Simon R Green is happy to let his series fizzle out with meaningless stories that are basic repetitions of the earlier novels.

In this story, John Taylor has been hired to seek out a man who supposedly has a recording of the afterlife. He is to find this recording and bring...
Published 18 months ago by GOTTON


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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nightside noir, 17 Jan. 2008
By 
EA Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Unnatural Inquirer: A Novel of the Nightside (Hardcover)
Simon R. Green's Nightside is the REAL dark side of London -- a city full of sleazy supernaturals and dark secrets, perpetually locked in night.

And "The Unnatural Inquirer" is Simon R. Green's eighth fantasy-noir set in the Nightside -- it's full of weird crimes, crazy inhabitants, and strange power grabs. This isn't quite Green's best, but it has his usual solid blend of mystery, horror, fantasy and dark humour.

As the story opens, John Taylor and his new love Suzie Shotgun are dealing with voodoo mayhem at a gruesome adult carnival. But then Cathy sends him a new assignment, working for the sleazy tabloid The Unnatural Inquirer. Apparently a guy named Pen Donovan somehow recorded a vision of the afterlife on a DVD -- nobody knows whether it was heaven or hell -- and then disappeared.

As with anything important, a lot of people in the Nightside want that DVD. And with a perky half-demon paparazzi beside him, Taylor starts prowling all the possible locations. But not only are the people he encounters dangerous, but something is pursuing them and erasing the nastier ones. Is the DVD truly a sight of the afterlife -- and is it worth dying for?

Futuristic ice queens, space generals, Lovecraft homages, an evil King Arthur, corrupt cardinals and the offspring of a succubus and a wayward Rolling Stone -- Green certainly knows how to keep the Nightside series interesting. Though the Nightside is not the sort of place you'd want to visit -- let alone live in -- it makes for a wonderful horror-noir read.

As with many of the other Nightside books, this a straight-line kind of mystery, where the hero investigates A, B, C and D before he finding the right person. And Green fills it with deliciously weird baddies (Kid Cthulhu?), spells (a T-rex in a museum), and he really goes to town with the tabloid titles from the Unnatural Inquirer ("Old Ones Fail To Rise Yet Again").

And he hasn't lost his touch for dialogue -- despite the many dark moments, Green always has some funny lines ("I really do hope it isn't the Devil again." "I could ask Mummy for you. She has contacts with the Old Firm..."). But the final confrontation is a bit anticlimatic, and it goes switching around from villain to villain... very, very fast.

And Green weaves in some interesting relationship threads -- a major subplot through the story is John being tempted by a more "normal" relationship, rather than the one he has with Suzie. Which involves no sex at the moment, due to her past of sexual abuse.

Suzie herself is only here for a spattering of pages, but we see more hints of the wounded teenager on the inside. Bettie is a fun and rather appealing young half-demon, and we see some old favorites here and there -- the Walker, the Collector, and Alex the surly barkeep. Not only does he get very gung-ho soldier in this one, but he reveals a startling secret about his love life.

"The Unnatural Inquirer" suffers from a rather anticlimactic battle, but it's a solid noir mystery in a world that is (thankfully) nothing like ours. Worth a read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars the deadly disc, 9 May 2009
By 
Paul Tapner (poole dorset england) - See all my reviews
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latest in a series of magical/horror/fantasy novels called the nightside series. All feature private eye john taylor, a man with a dark past and a few special abilities, solving cases in the nightside. An area of london well off the maps, where all sorts of strange and wondorous things happen.

If you've not read a nightside novel before then start Something from the Nightside although this book is nigh on totally self contained and does give new readers enough information to get them up to speed instantly.

This story involves John being hired by a local tabloid newspaper to find a man who has a dvd which shows pictures from the afterlife. A big scoop that the paper desperately wants, and he is forced to team up with a demonic reporter to find it. But there are all sorts of people who would like to see what's on the disc, and they've got a fight on their hands to get it and then to stay alive.

Complete in 242 pages [the rest of the page count is a preview of the next book in the series] the story as is typical with these novels takes john on a journey through parts of the nightside that we haven't seen before. All could be regular london parts if it wasn't for supernatural tiwsts to them, and these are all quite inventive. Enough to keep you hooked although you will possibly start to wonder how the plot will resolve itself as the investigation doesn't seem to go anywhere for a while.

But then it suddenly does, in an excellent last fifty pages which offer a couple of good plot twists and some strong character motivation. Semi regular characters from the series have good moments that let them develop, and john's burgeoning romance with his rather troubled girlfriend suzie is very well handled, and it lets that plotline move forward nicely.

Not quite the best entry in the series, but an above average and enjoyable read
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2.0 out of 5 stars Another filler novel with no impact on the rest of the series, 14 Nov. 2013
By 
GOTTON - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
The Unnatural Inquirer is the 8th book in the Nightside series and apparently proof that Simon R Green is happy to let his series fizzle out with meaningless stories that are basic repetitions of the earlier novels.

In this story, John Taylor has been hired to seek out a man who supposedly has a recording of the afterlife. He is to find this recording and bring it back to the Nightside's gossip rag, the Unnatural enquirer. At first this novel seemed to have at least some purpose as John has been teamed up with a half breed succubus and she offers him the things that at the moment Suzie Shooter can't give him because of her psychological damage. At this point you would be justified to think that the issue the author is tackling in this novel is getting over the physical boundaries between Suzie and John. To that I say, don't hold your breath.

Once it becomes obvious that we are not dealing with a big issue of the series but instead just killing time by solving another issue that won't really have any impact on the rest of the series this story falls back into old habits. Repeated info dump descriptions, lots of mindless and often needless violence as well as the usual people wanting to challenge John's reputation and learning nothing about the futility of doing so. Oh and of course, in this novel there is something blocking John from using his gift again maintaining the record that in no book so far has John had full access to his gift. if the author really can't think of a story where John has full access to his gift then maybe he shouldn't have given him the gift in the first place.

Again this is a disappointing book and again I only plan on sticking with the series because I have stuck with it for so long anyway an just want to see how it ends.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nightside series of books, 3 Oct. 2011
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This review is from: The Unnatural Inquirer: A Novel of the Nightside (Hardcover)
The book was super value and in superb condition, the postage was cheap and got my book within time stated by seller. Would definitely used this seller again, thank you.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Yet another Nightside, 12 Mar. 2009
By 
Mr. Julian Davis "Jules" (Surrey, UK) - See all my reviews
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If you've read the previous books then you know what to expect, if not then start at the beginning they are better.

The setting is fun, the characters overblown but somehow I've got attached to them, but the plot is thin mainly just an excuse for a string of set pieces with reprises of the same dialog.

I still like the nightside but the writing has been better in other books.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Green follows his standardrecipe, 17 July 2008
By 
Flemming Jørgensen (Denmark) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Unnatural Inquirer: A Novel of the Nightside (Hardcover)
Simon Green has a way with words, and his imagination can create creatures and monsters like few others. And this novel is no exception.
Apart from that this novel is disappointing.

Simon Green follows his standard recipe : John Taylor is paid to find something and naturally succeed. A lot of very powerful beings want to stop him, but whenever John Taylor gets into a tight corner he uses his gift. Why does Simon Green even bother to invent these terrible monsters, if all John Taylor need to do to deal with them is to use his gift for finding things?

Even John Taylors interaction with his companion on the mission is strangely flat and routine. Perhaps because we know from the start that a love affair with someone other than Susie Shooter is so out of character.

I liked "Hell to pay" but that story worked because there was a great plot with a lot of twists and surprises. "The unnatural inquirer" don't have such a plot and Simon Greens talent for witty dialogue is not enough in itself. Perhaps the Nightside series has come to an end.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 31 Dec. 2014
By 
R. Booth "Viking Fan" (Essex, England) - See all my reviews
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another terrific book from the master of dark fantasy
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 18 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: The Unnatural Inquirer: A Novel of the Nightside (Hardcover)
Very good
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The Unnatural Inquirer: A Novel of the Nightside
The Unnatural Inquirer: A Novel of the Nightside by Simon R. Green (Hardcover - 2 Jan. 2008)
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