Ian Tregillis’ Something More Than Night is a murder mystery set in Thomas Aquinas’s vision of Heaven. It’s essentially a detective story starring cosmic as well as mundane elements such as fallen angels, the Voice of God, the heavenly choir, a priest with a dark secret, a femme fatale and nightclub stigmatics.
Angel Gabriel has been murdered. Worse still, the Jericho Trumpet has gone missing. These two events put Heaven on the brink of a cosmic crisis.
Now this is no mere murder. A small group of angels decide to break out of Heaven, but they can’t make their plans work without the help of a gullible human being.
Much of the story is told from the point of view of a cynical fallen angel called Bayliss.
He assumes the persona of Philip Marlowe. As the novel opens he watches the death of the angel Gabriel. Bayliss has been ordered to find a replacement and that person has to be pliable and not so bright. Now the victim has to die before s/he can be resurrected as an angel. With this objective, Bayliss arranges an accident; however, he misses his target and mistakenly kills Molly Pruett, a highly intelligent and stunning redhead. Bayliss, thinks of Molly as his client and tells her what she has to know to assume her angelic mantle.
Bayliss wants to find out why Gabriel was murdered. The investigation unfolds a twisty plot that leads to something even more cynical: a con job that has been in the making for one billion years.
Something More Than Night is undoubtedly one of the best murder mysteries published in 2013.