by Neil Gaiman, Michael Zulli and Todd Klein
A fantasy writer, hiding out in a London hotel room so that he’ll meet a script deadline, is convinced by a friend to complete a foursome one evening. The friend and his wife have somehow been roped into entertaining Miss Finch, a dour, charmless woman of indeterminate relationship to them. So the fantasy writer agrees to accompany them for sushi and a show, and the gothic circus held in London’s underground tunnels proves to be one of the strangest experiences of his life.
Previously published as a short story in Smoke and Mirrors, “The Facts in the Departure of Miss Finch” covers very familiar territory for Neil Gaiman fans. An anonymous male author has appeared in other Gaiman short stories, and the contrast between normal “overground” life and the otherworldly darkness of the “underground” is prominent in Neverwhere and The Graveyard Book and Coraline. This does make the story somewhat predictable if you’re an avid – or even casual – Gaiman reader. But the suspense builds slowly and the ultimate twist is still surprising, even though you know that something of its nature is surely coming.
The graphic novel is illustrated by Michael Zulli, one of Gaiman’s frequent collaborators. The art work matches the story perfectly – his dreamy, sketchy figures and settings set the mood and match the self-professed unreliability of the story’s nameless narrator. It has the misty, ethereal quality of a dream.
4 out of 5 stars
To read more about The Facts in the Case of the Departure of Miss Finch, buy it or add it to your wishlist click here.
Peeking into the archives...today in:
2013: The Deadly Sisterhood by Leonie Frieda
2012: The Lady of the Rivers Book Giveaway
2011: The First Clash by Jim Lacey
2010: Dawn of the Dreadfuls by Steve Hockensmith
2009: Mistress Shakespeare by Karen Harper