Hang Wire by Adam Christopher: Review

Ted Hall is worried. He’s been sleepwalking, and his somnambulant travels appear to coincide with murders by the notorious Hang Wire Killer.
Meanwhile, the circus has come to town, but the Celtic dancers are taking their pagan act a little too seriously, the manager of the Olde Worlde Funfair has started talking to his vintage machines, and the new acrobat’s frequent absences are causing tension among the performers.
Out in the city there are new arrivals – immortals searching for an ancient power – a primal evil which, if unopposed, could destroy the world!

Firstly I’d like to make a confession.

This is the first novel by Adam Christopher that I have read.

Phew!
There, I said it. And after having read Hang Wire I will kick myself for not having read his previous works!
Anyhoo, I digress.

Hang Wire tells the story of the mild mannered blogger, Ted Hall, who on one particular evening has a most unfortunate encounter with an exploding fortune cookie which happens to contain the power of a Chinese, trickster god.
Meanwhile, the City of San Francisco is in unrest and the barefoot, shirtless beach-bum, Bob knows exactly what is about to happen as he has been there before. It would seem that Bob is keeping a very large secret to himself.
Bob was there when the first attempts of destruction happened in the Earthquake of 1906 and since then has lived his life on the beach as part of the tourist scene, (ballroom dancing anyone)?
And then there is the matter of the mysterious Hang Wire Killer that the authorities are no closer to catching. But its ok! the Circus is in town! Yep, good ol’ fashioned fun for all the family. Celtic dancers who are a strange and sinister bunch, and a man in a stovepipe hat that unnerves the performers and seems to have lived forever.
And you thought clowns were scary!

One thing the keen eye of the reader will notice, is that the novel focuses on the viewpoints of four characters and Ted appears to not always be the primary focus as one might think. Although the narrative is split, Bob and the antagonist, Joel Duvall, seem to have more light shed on them to some degree, this certainly made things interesting.
The suspense and mystery surrounding the story is built fantastically and the interludes that happen within chapters in which the reader goes back in time and joins Joel’s hunt for the elusive jewel eyed monkey is used as a great platform to keep up the suspense.
(Keep your eyes peeled for the awesome Mothman reference!)

Hang Wire captures an urban-fantasy that at times reminded me of a 2000AD strip (The Ten Seconders), and also The Cold Dark was somewhat reminiscent of the Dr. Who villain- The Great Intelligence. That is not to say that it felt un-original at all.
Also, look out for a fairground monster that Tom Pollock, (author of The City’s Son) would be proud of!

Hang Wire is a novel full of suspense and mystery, Gods and Golems, ancient powers, and impending doom!
Christopher leads you down one path then quickly redirects you till you no longer know which way is up.

At some point in time last year, Mr. Christopher was asking the hive mind of twitter about hats. Little did I -or anyone- know that he was writing this little beauty!

I’d like to finish by mentioning that this novel is the 100th book released by Angry Robot.

And remember- “You are the master of every situation.”

9/10

Hang Wire is available in the US on the 29th January and in the UK on the 7th of February from Angry Robot and all good book retailers.
Visit the publishers website at http://www.angryrobotbooks.com and you can find more about Adam Christopher on his website http://www.adamchristopher.ac as well as on Twitter @ghostfinder

Thank you to the publishers for providing me with a copy of this novel.

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2 thoughts on “Hang Wire by Adam Christopher: Review

  1. I just reviewed this one too, and I agree…this one was offbeat in a good way. And nice comparison to Tom Pollock. I would never have thought of that, but the “setting as alive” theme is similar with the circus!

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