Liz Williams thrillingly integrates fantasy, science fiction, and police procedural in Snake Agent, the first Detective Inspector Chen novel. I found this book to be a refreshing mix of comfortable standbys and novel (heh) takes on world building. Singapore 3's Detective Inspector Chen has a demon wife, works in a department that has the collective willies over what he does, and is pursuing a case of missing innocent souls. During his investigations he uncovers what may prove to be the link to a larger conspiracy to disrupt the carefully crafted balance between Hell, the living world, and the celestial spheres. Solving this mystery and maintaining the balance may involve ticking off his patron goddess, and getting help in unlikely places. A clever mix of humor, drama, horror, and action; Liz Williams writes in a dynamically visual way. Great for urban fantasy and science fiction readers, as well as for fans of characters like John Constantine.
Introducing Singaporean DI, Wei Chen. "This exotic amalgam of police procedural, SF, comic fantasy, and horror is a delight from start to finish" (Locus). When the fourteen-year-old daughter of Singapore Three's most prominent industrialist dies of anorexia, her parents assume that Pearl's suffering has come to an end. But somewhere along the way to the Celestial Shores, Pearl's soul is waylaid, lured by an unknown force to the gates of Hell. To save their daughter from eternal banishment, they come to Detective Inspector Wei Chen, whose jurisdiction lies between this world and the next. A round-faced cop who is as serious as his beat is strange, Chen has a demon for a wife and a comfort with the supernatural that most mortals cannot match. But finding Pearl Tang will take him further into the abyss than ever before--to a mystifying place where he will have to cooperate with a demonic detective if he wants to survive. It's easy, Chen will find, to get into Hell. The hard part is getting out. Snake Agent is the first of the five Detective Inspector Chen Novels, which continue with The Demon and the City and Precious Dragon.
About the Author
Liz Williams is a science fiction and fantasy writer living in Glastonbury, England, where she is codirector of a witchcraft supply business. The author of seventeen novels and over one hundred short stories, she has been published by Bantam Spectra and Night Shade Books in the US, and by Tor Macmillan in the UK. She was a frequent contributor to Realms of Fantasy, and her writing appears regularly in Asimov's and other magazines. She is the secretary of the Milford SF Writers' Workshop and teaches creative writing and history of science fiction.