2012-Dead Harvest

Dead Harvest, by Chris Holm ($7.99):

"Sorry -- it's nothing personal." That's what Sam Thornton says to his "victims" just before reaching into their chests and yanking out the tainted souls he finds inside. I put the word victims in quotes, because he collects the souls of the damned, sinners already destined for Hell. How did he get this gig? He was once collected himself. Like an IRS agent with no option to retire, Thornton's slated to extract payment from the damned for all eternity. That is, until he's assigned a girl whose soul is pure, unblemished, and beautiful. To save this girl, Thornton must risk everything -- including an all-out war between Heaven and Hell -- to learn who or what has the motive -- and the power -- to do the unthinkable: to damn an innocent soul to the fires of Hell … forever.

Effectively mashing up urban fantasy and urban noir, Dead Harvest delivers a break-neck plot peppered with strong dialogue, interesting characters (read: creatures), and even a few original ideas. Indeed, the story rarely lets the reader take a breath. The first of a series being pubished by Angry Robot, Dead Harvest also sports a cool, retro, lived-in cover design, recalling books printed back when people were still feathering their hair and doing the Hustle. I only mention that as the sorts of thing readers of actual, three-dimensional books might appreciate. I highly recommend this one for fans of Jim Butcher, urban fantasy, dark noir, and Van McCoy. Especially Van McCoy.