Working for “regional death” isn’t exactly the best of jobs. Crossing spirits over to the underworld is painful and stopping the arisen dead needs at least a drop of your own blood.

But being shot at was definitely not in the job description, nor was falling in love with a ghost. When your family and friends are being assassinated one by one, you know that things have gone very wrong somewhere. When their corpses reanimate to finish the assassin’s job, you have to fight back.

The first novel in Trent Jamieson’s Death Works series — Death Most Definite — is a brilliant opening to what promises to be an enthralling series. The narrative runs at a good pace, interspersed with the kind of humour that has made Jamieson’s award-winning short stories must-reads.

It is also great to see Brisbane being used as a location in the novel. The city is recognisable and altered by the dark fantasy of the story, and the familiarity of the setting adds to the atmosphere of the story — something that a lot of overseas dark fantasy lacks for Australian audiences.

This is an enthralling read for those that have loved Neil Gaiman, Charles Stross and Charlaine Harris.

*Chris McDonough is a bookseller at Coaldrakes in Brisbane. This review courtesy of Bookseller+Publisher‘s books blog Fancy Goods.