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Even Though I Knew the End

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I loved that there was a little bit of everything in here: a noir sort of urban fantasy, a sweet because not overdrawn romance, many magical elements and some nice commentary on what has been done to homosexual people, such as conversion therapy (which, in some places, still is done, unfortunately). The shorter man took the lead, gun in hand. But then I got a look at the bigger one, and even with his figure shrouded in shadow, my heart gave a little leap, because I knew him. The light shifted to shine on half his face and I forgot how to breathe. His chin, his mouth … even ten years older and a full foot taller, I knew. re-read: I liked this even more the second time. There's so much richness to this novella and when you know the end (lol), you can see how Polk lays the foundation for all the revelations to come. This is an excellent novella. Broken glass crunched under a boot sole. A new shadow fell over my path, shaped like square shoulders and a fedora. Delaney didn’t matter. I was smiling so hard, I could feel the cold on my molars. Ted was here, this week of all weeks. Here, when I thought I’d never see him again. “Teddy. It is you. You transferred out of Ohio? Are you here in Chicago to stay? You’ve got to be an initiate by now; have you earned your third degree?”

The writing was excellent as was the characterization! I mean, you can pretty much guess in the first minute what it will likely all come down to and yet I was utterly invested and hoped fervently that there was a way out. Whether there was or not, I shall not spoiler. Fantastic Noir: The story is about a PI with magic powers investigating a serial killer using their victim's blood for Blood Magic. Even Though I Knew the End follows the story of Helen Brandt in 1940's Chicago. Helen is a magical private eye hired by her (damn sexy) client, Marlowe, to find a serial killer known as the White City Vampire. Despite her initial hesitance, Helen takes the job for the enticing compensation she was promised by Marlowe. This job, doomed from the start, brings Helen more trouble than initially anticipated, and along the way, she uncovers many life-changing truths. With the deadline ending in 3 days, Helen hastily attempts to catch this cold-blooded murderer, all so she can keep those she loves safe. Does she find this White City Vampire? Is the reward enough for what she goes through? Will she be able to keep her family safe?

‘Even Though I Knew the End’ published on November 8, 2022

At the end of the day, I'm a simple reader. Give me a story that feels like Passing Strange had a baby with Supernatural, make it just the right amount of noir and write it well - and I am one happy little clam. trigger + content warnings: a lot of mentions of homophobia, mention of conversion therapy, institutionalization, talk of loss of a loved one, mention of a car accident involving death, abduction, murder, gore, ritual killings, human sacrifice, a lot of blood depictions, self harm for blood for magic, possession, misogyny, brief mention of throwing up, gun violence involving cops, a lot of smoking + alcohol consumption.

Damn it. I’d been pinched, and it was my own fault. I had cast no wards at all. I wasn’t great with the invisibility glamour. I hadn’t even set up a trip line. I had been sloppy, and I deserved to get caught. Despite the patriarchal structure, women do dance and love and live; they hold good jobs and work magic, both figurative and literal. There are hints at what the world could be, were they all free to grow and shine beyond their world’s limitations, if they could claim their power—even though they know the end.I’d read this book a dozen times, two dozen. I always held my breath, waiting for Daisy to come to him. Jay hoped every single time, and I hoped right along with him, even though I knew the end.

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