Girl of Great Price
by Milo James Fowler
published in 2014
originally publishing in Girl Trouble anthology (2013)
I remember reading a couple great reviews for the Malfeasance Occasional anthology, Girl Trouble, last year. But it slipped off the radar shortly thereafter and I didn't really give it a second thought. If the story are as good as this novelette from Milo James Fowler, I may have to put it back on my watch list, because this was right up my alley.
A world-weary private-eye, living a world now divided in two after a great near-future war has ravaged the planet, winds up on a case in search of a veterans abducted adopted-daughter. Working a case it hard enough, because the Russian mob pretty much runs most of the city. It doesn't help when the kingpin has some cybernetic goons doing his dirty work while keeping his own identity tightly guarded. And much like the private eyes of noir's yesteryear, Charlie Madison takes a lickin' while doling out his own brand of investigative brutality as well.
In quick fashion, the world is fleshed out, the stakes set and raised, and Charlie Madison regarded as a cynical hero in a world of villains. I dug it and would have no objections to a novel-length Madison mystery brought out down the line. As it stands, genre-blending fans should find a fun, fast read here that'll whet the appetite for more.