Caitlin Kiernan is firmly ensconced in my top tier of writers. Her gift for language, the mood of dread and wonder she consistently evokes, the mashup of cosmic horror with literary modernist techniques, and her frank and searing approach to writing about mental illness make her works indelible. Her sense of the darkness and cruelty of the world is as bone deep as McCarthy or Ellroy. She is endlessly creative. I’m not sure if its because they were the first things I read by her, but her previous Tinfoil Dossier books, Agents of Dreamland and Black Helicopters, were among my favorites of her work, the latter only challenged by The Drowning Girl or maybe The Red Tree (pending reread) at the top of the pile. Adding a John Le Carre by way of X-Files element really works. The Tindalos Asset is the most recent entry in that series, and it is worthy of its predecessors.
The novel opens with the Signalman, an aging agent who made a cameo in Black Helicopters and was the protagonist of Agents of Dreamland, shows up in the squalid apartment of Ellison Nicademo, a former assassin with a supernatural familiar who worked for the agency. Her life has spiraled since a truly grotesque failed attempt at killing the leader of a cult trying to raise the Ancient Gods. As with the previous books, the story is told achronologically, jumping from perspective to perspective and back and forth through the years and decades building to an apocalyptic ending.
Black Helicopters is still my favorite of hers, but this is excellent. As much as I enjoy her earlier work, the stuff she’s done lately is astounding. This could be an ending point for the series, but I would read as many of these as she writes. I cannot recommend these books enough.
Highly Recommended/Canon Worthy
Everything Else 2021 4/50