Once he checked in, checking out became an obsession!
Crawford the were-rat checks into a shady hotel and promptly stumbles over a dead man. A mysterious troll is obsessed with finding the dagger that killed him—a dagger possessed by a demon! The demon denies that he is a demon and is obsessed with regaining his freedom. Meanwhile, the hotel’s night clerk is obsessed with the hooker on the third floor. Crawford is obsessed with what’s in the hooker’s room: a solid gold statuette of a demon-slaying goddess! Crawford has checked in, but, when obsessions collide, does he have any hope of checking out?
The Demon's Dagger: A Noir Urban Fantasy novella is a fun glimpse into the Alexander Southerland P.I.'s world, created by Douglas Lumsden. A complicated and messy story that allows centered around a dagger that appears in the chest of a dead man, and the obsession that Crawford the wererat gets with a golden goddess statue.
A story that features multiple characters all in the same hotel where this corpse has appeared; each one portraying their side of the story, soon unveiling that appearances are deceiving, such as the supposed demon inside the dagger just being an elf wanting freedom. While having many characters helps keeping this story fresh, it also becomes a big confusing at points, changing between POVs each few pages.
In terms of pacing, I found it to be really well balanced, in the style of what we would expect from a noir novella, a thriller that prefers to be shallow in details in favour of having a better pacing. It's perfect to be read in one sit.
The Demon's Dagger is a great way to have a first taste from Douglas Lumsden's urban fantasy series; if you like complex crime stories, this one is perfect for you.
Disclaimer: This novella has been read as part of the SFINCS. This review/rating only represents my personal opinion and it might differ with what the team decides.