The Clock Man: and Other Stories by Eric Lahti is an excellent collection which both stands on its own for new readers, but also fleshes out the world of Henchmen for those who have been keeping up with the author. Eight stories make up this collection, which takes Lahti’s imagination and share it out with readers.
All of the stories feel like they can live and breathe within the same universe of interconnected worlds, which is no mean feat. Lahti opens by providing us with a glimpse into the broader universe that he’s been working in and some background as to how it truly functions. He then moves right into the story an old “friend”, Wilford Saxton, the government foil who somehow survived the end of Arise, setting the stage and providing an exciting glimpse into Lahti’s next book.
|Pretty girl. Pretty deadly.|
Of course, the real gem of this collect is “The Clock Man”. Here, readers are introduced to a new character. Felix Crow, and a new world that is somehow connected to our own. Felix is a classic noir character, but placed in a neo-wuxia setting that mixes Eastern and Western themes with great success. My only criticism is that “The Clock Man” while a complete tale, felt like it had the potential to be its own novel, and spin out more of the universe that Lahti is operating from.
Lahti is an excellent storyteller and he weaves together his characters and his worlds into a convincing tapestry. Each story stands well on its own, but also adds to an ever-expanding universe that will make readers eager for more.