The Dire King

October 27, 2017

Jackaby #4. Author: William Ritter.


The fate of the world is in the hands of detective of the supernatural R. F. Jackaby and his intrepid assistant, Abigail Rook. An evil king is turning ancient tensions into modern strife, using a blend of magic and technology to push Earth and the Otherworld into a mortal competition. Jackaby and Abigail are caught in the middle as they continue to solve the daily mysteries of New Fiddleham, New England — like who’s created the rend between the worlds, how to close it, and why zombies are appearing around. At the same time, the romance between Abigail and the shape-shifting police detective Charlie Cane deepens, and Jackaby’s resistance to his feelings for 926 Augur Lane’s ghostly lady, Jenny, begins to give way. Before the four can think about their own futures, they will have to defeat an evil that wants to destroy the future altogether.

(Published Summary)

My Thoughts:

I think I liked Jackaby rather better when it was a paranormal detective series. That was a twist I’ve never seen before. The got-to-save-the-whole-world ending was a disappointing relapse into fantasy cliches. The characters hold true, though. Quirky, amusing, overall determined to do the right thing; and while I’m not quite sure about the wisdom of throwing every fantasy creature ever in one book together, I still have to admire the range. If you’re going to stuff a single book with creatures from all sorts of folklore, then do it like William Ritter, pulling in lesser-known things like the twain.

Content Review:

Sexual Content: None.

Language: 4 d***, 3 derogatory terms, 2 hell

Violence: Man dies, apparently of old age, on characters’ doorstep. While two characters are examining a crime scene, the corpse gets up and attacks them quite persistently; one of them ends up basically squishing it with a big statue. Two guards killed by breaking their necks. Character poisons a vampire, who dies. Elongated, hand-to-hand battle with reanimated corpses. There’s a major climatic battle with basically all the characters in it, lots of death, not too many gory details though.


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