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Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite
There is nobody better suited to ghoulish, baffling events than Special Police Detective Caecilius Rex. A missing prison liaison officer is found dead, face-down in a small crater, in the concrete of a promenade. Together with his associate Kendra Nai, a recently discharged army sergeant, they soon discover that the case is bigger than they expected. The first installment of Caecilius Rex series, The Atomic Circus is written by K.C. Finn.
When it comes to mystery sleuths, I do prefer a classic detective character that is moody, and lacks money and cases to work on. Even so, I still like the mysterious and weird Caecilius Rex. His atypical persona is endearing. Then there’s the tough ex-army sergeant and also Cae’s neighbor, Kendra. If Sherlock has Watson, then Cae has Kendra. Their pairing is odd but sensible. The prose is free from any redundant details, making it a smooth read from start to finish. Author K.C. Finn has an interesting way of narrating The Atomic Circus, like a great bedtime story that must be told or else I would not be able to go sleep.
On the other hand, the setting is ambiguous. The world is surrounded with smog and apparently it is dangerous as people have to wear masks outside their home. Nevertheless, it fits perfectly with the concept of the story. Its 'noiresque' quality is hard to resist. I also believe the answer of how the seemingly apocalyptic world came to be will be revealed throughout the series. On the whole, a superb debut.