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I Belong

Review: Department Zero by Paul Crilley

Title: Department Zero

Author: Paul Crilley

Genre: Science Fiction/Urban Fantasy/Horror

Series: N/A

Publication Date: January 24, 2017

Format: Paperback, 301 Pages

ISBN-10: 1633882012 (Pyr)

ISBN-13: 978-1633882010 (Pyr)

Reviewed by: Roxanne



Harry Priest just wants to make sure his ex-wife doesn’t take away his visitation rights, and his dead-end job cleaning up crime scenes for the past ten years isn’t doing him any favors.

But when Harry attends what he thinks is a routine death, he stumbles onto a secret multiverse of alternate realities all reachable through universe-hopping gates. Policing these worlds is Havelock Graves, the Interstitial Crime Department’s top agent for ten years running (according to him).  When Harry accidentally messes with the ICD crime scene, Graves and his team are demoted as low as they can go: Department Zero. They’re recruiting Harry too—not because he charmed them, but because he just might hold the key to saving the universe . . . and getting their old jobs back.

To do this, Graves and his team set out to solve the crime that lost them their jobs.  A crime that involves a cult planning to hunt down and steal the fabled Spear of Destiny in order to free the Great Old One Cthulhu from his endless sleep in the Dreamlands. (Because that’s another thing Harry soon finds out. Everything H. P. Lovecraft wrote is true. Like, everything.)

The team will have to fight its way through realities filled with Martian technology and evade mad priests (Harry’s favorite kind) in a realm of floating landmasses where magic really exists.

And Harry has to do it all in time to say good night to his daughter.

Quick & Dirty: A world in which Lovecraft written work is all true.

Opening Sentence: The polite term for what I do for a living is “biohazard remediation.”

Excerpt: No

The Review:

Harry Priest is a crime scene cleaner, and one night he recives a phone call from a contact within the LAPD, so he and Jorge (the boss’s son) head out to the crime scence to clean it up. However, when they get there they quickly realize that something is different. Harry is sure that the police haven’t even been on the scene so he backs off, but before he can even call the police to confirm he finds Jorge in the room filiming the crime scene.

Once he gets Jorge out of the room, two officers show up and say they are with the ICD which Harry has not ever heard off, but they kick them out of the scene, and when Harry calls his contact he confirms that the scene was taken over by the ICD. So they leave and Harry dwells on it until Jorge calls him in a panic and he rushes over to Jorge’s apartment. Only to find some giant spider eating his brains. Completely freaked out Harry takes off and is pursed by a Shakespeare quoting monkey.

He accidentally shoots Graves (one of the ICD officer’s) and soon is offered a job within the ICD where he finds they are on the hunt for the Spear of Destiny and fallen gods. Harry finds himself kidnapped more than once, and begins to wonder if he will even get out of this alive. But discovering that this is really a multi-verse already puts a lot on Harry’s plate, will he be able to stop those trying to free an old god?

This is an interesting book and a quick read. Harry is a little more bumbling than I like my MC’s but I adored his relationship with his daughter. I thought it was really neat that in some worlds the War of the World really happened (H.G. Wells book) and that Lovecraft’s stories are all true. At the same time it was creepy and a little weird not going to lie, I tried not to freak out when that spider thing was on Jorge. I couldn’t decide if it was interesting when the man-faced monkey spoke only shakespeare quotes, but what I did get and really loved was the author clearly loved to read and this book is a homage to some great horror and science fiction classics.

All in all, this was decent book. I am not sure if it was meant to be a standalone or the start of something. Even though most of it wrapped in the book. I kind of felt that it was the start of something. Sometimes though we have to be satisfied with what we get.

Notable Scene:

I jerk back, trying to fight down panic. What do I do? Jump out the window, probably breaking my leg in the process, or run past the weird spider-monster in the lounge. Nothing in life has prepared me for this situation.


FTC Advisory: Pyr provided me with a copy of Department Zero. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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