Singapore is a city franchise.
Nanotechnology is replacing some areas of standard technology (there is a fantastic liquid personal computer).
There is an Afterlife, which conforms to the standards of Chinese tradition – a feudal paradise , a highly bureaucratized hell.
Gods and demons interact directly with humanity.
Detective Inspector Chen of Singapore Three police department deals with crimes on the border between the two worlds.
Now, someone is killing teenagers, kidnapping their virtuous souls to initiate them into prostitution in the alleyways of Hell.
And it may just be the tip of a very dangerous iceberg, in a plot full of political collusion and interdimensional speculations.
Snake Agent is the first novel in the series featuring Inspector Chen by British award-winning author Liz Williams.
The story is an unusual, heady mix of science fiction, urban fantasy, horror and thriller, reprising the classic “buddy movie” motif, when Chen joins his infernal counterpart , the Seneschal Zhu Irzh, a humanoid enough demon (whith something of the mantis) who is also on the trail of criminals.
Mystical combats, exorcisms, investigations – there’s it all, and then more.
The first Detective Chen novel is very well written, original, funny, with characters that are multi-faceted enough to transcend the obvious limitations imposed by the adoption of certain clichés.