Now this is that pacey and fun urban fantasy I should have read. The sequel to Dead Harvest and it does everything you need it to. Angels, demons, magic, and a lovely pulpy, noir-ey vibe to the whole affair.
None of these are deal breakers. In fact they are, as is my wont, just quibbles. More often than not the author takes initially unpromising tropes and makes them pay off handsomely. The supporting cast are well drawn and my concerns about the fat comedy sidekick proved wholly unfounded as I really ended up caring about that character and his eventual fate. Plus any book that has a denizen of hell quoting The Big Lebowski with a straight face has to have something to recommend it.
On a related but different note, I’m increasingly impressed by Angry Robot as an enterprise. It’s an interesting business model: no hardbacks, everything gets released in paperback and electronic formats at the same time (disclaimer: I have less than no clue about how publishing really works). They also seem to have a fairly clear commitment to new authors at the fun and pulpy end of the SF/F spectrum.
More importantly than all this though is that of the seven or eight books of theirs I’ve read the only out-and-out dud has been Blackbirds. They’ve all had problems (some more than others, admittedly) but they’ve generally been interesting problems and that’s surely better than always playing it safe. This is something to be applauded, I think; while they’ve all been flawed, only one has been been bad and some have been very good indeed. There’s a seemingly genuine love for genre behind it all, and as more and more publishers panic about ebooks and piracy and retreat to lowest common denominator pap like Fifty Shades of Grey and biographies of celebrities not yet out of their twenties, that has to be a good thing. They also clearly know some fantastic cover artists.