The Ishmael Jones books are the newest series by Simon R Green.
Just like his other series taking place in the contemporary world, these have an otherworldly twist to them. This isn’t just a mystery, nor just a supernatural story either. It is an artful mix of both and that is what makes this such an amazing read.
Ishmael Jones, that secret agent we met in The Dark Side of the Road (our review here), is back alongside Penny Belcourt, whose wit and bravery make her one of the best leading ladies in contemporary literature.
A great thing about the lead character is that while Ishmael definitely does have a lot of skills, he is at the same time quite vulnerable in his own ways, which makes him more interesting. He isn’t a private eye out to defend the little guy or aid the cops, nor is he a rich vigilante who solves mysteries for a hobby. He’s simply trying to make the world a better place in his own way.
This is murder mystery at its best, taking itself just seriously enough to be able to compete with the other great British novels in the genre and not seriously enough to be fun, quirky and, most importantly, different from what you would expect from this genre.
Dead Man Walking may be a sequel, but it isn’t necessary to have read the first volume, although it does help to understand some of the references to that book or know a little more about the characters. That aside, it can also be enjoyed as a stand-alone.