NOTE: Dead to Rights was a free review copy provided to Luke Reviews by Padwolf Publishing.
I have been coming across more and more Patrick Thomas lately, it seems. I’ve been loving his short stories, and once you read some of them, you can’t help but want to dive into some of his series more, and return to the characters over and over (I’m looking at you Startenders; can anyone tell me if there are more than just the one story out there?).
I first encountered Agent Karver of the D.M.A. in Mystic Investigators, a collection of urban fantasy/paranormal mystery tales from Thomas. He featured in “Cardiac Arrest,” which I thoroughly enjoyed, so when a book collecting his tales arrived in my mailbox, I knew I needed to dive in soon.
Dead to Rights contains all of the agent Karver stories, seven of which have been previously published elsewhere, and four that are new to this collection. C. J. Henderson co-authors two of the stories, one of which is also co-authored by John L. French. Henderson’s Lai Wan and French’s Bianca Jones both make appearances.
So does Dead to Rights live up to the standard set by “Cardiac Arrest”? You better believe it. These stories of dark urban paranormal mystery are rich throughout. The settings are fleshed out nicely, Agent Karver gets a lot of depth, with his struggle to escape his own demons (literally and figuratively), and the plots whip along, each twist fitting perfectly into the narrative.
Not a single one of these stories will let you down, and more than a couple will stick with you for a while. Fans of evocative fantasy that rips across the page dare not miss this one.