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Daniel Carter is a London copper. It is today’s London, but a London inhabited by clans of underground monsters. They run criminal rackets: the Frankenstein Clan, with its surgeries, the seductive Vampire Clan, the drug-dealing Clan of Mummies and the Werewolf Clan, who serve as hit men and enforcers.
“Jekyll & Hyde Inc.,” a fantasy novel by Simon R. Green, opens with Carter, his partner, and two fellow cops raiding a Frankenstein chop shop. Their attempt to break up the illicit den where victims are cut up for transplant organs goes badly. One is killed, two others vanish in the building’s ruins and Carter is left crippled.
Carter is also suspended. The raid was supposedly unauthorized. The commissioner who organized and authorized it also disappeared. Carter’s career is in ruins, he is in constant pain, and his family has rejected him. Then his vanished partner appears. He has been absorbed into the underground, involuntarily turned into a vampire. Like the ghost of Jacob Marley, he appears to offer Carter a chance at redemption – or perhaps more accurately revenge.
Carter is being recruited by Jekyll & Hyde, Incorporated. Mr. Hyde, the creature who consumed Dr. Jekyll’s elixir, is still alive centuries later. He escaped. He has also become fabulously wealthy and is running a monster-hunting business. By consuming some of the elixir, Carter can regain health and gain superhuman strength. Doing this entails signing up to kill monsters.
In addition to giving those who take the potion superhuman strength and endurance, it also produces incredible attractiveness and god-like charismatic power. Killing monsters is what Carter wanted to do anyway. As further enticement, he is paired with Valentina Hyde (always Tina, never Valentina), a female Hyde. A former drug addict, she has been transformed into a phenomenally powerful beauty.
Carter signs up. Hyde’s plan is more ambitious than simply fighting the clans. Carter and his new partner are being used in a campaign to destroy the clans, utterly and for all time. Only what lies behind Mr. Hyde’s plan? What is his ultimate goal and how do the subordinate Hydes, including Carter, fit into its conclusion?
Jekyll & Hyde Inc.” is a fascinating urban fantasy. Green transforms Robert Lewis Stevenson’s classic horror novel into the launch pad for an exciting adventure. He takes readers through a romp involving multiple horror classics, updated to the twenty-first century in an amusing and entertaining read.
“Jekyll & Hyde Inc.,” by Simon R. Green, Baen, 2021, 240 pages, $25.00 (Hardcover), $9.99 (e-book)
This review was written by Mark Lardas who writes at Ricochet as Seawriter. Mark Lardas, an engineer, freelance writer, historian, and model-maker, lives in League City, TX. His website is marklardas.com.Published in