So close to retirement, the last thing that ageing inspector Jim Pannifer wants is a hate crime perpetrated by Satanists, or tit-for-tat exchanges between the right-wing Social Order Movement and Islamic extremists. But, in an Addingcombe graveyard, a white cat's decapitated head, thirteen black candles and a twisted key with nine notches are found, and two headstones desecrated with black paint now bear the scrawled name of Mayor Biff Scourge – the "F's" in the shapes of swastikas, the "O" crossed like a Nazi wotan symbol.
Yes, a suit of respectability may cover Mayor Scourge's tattoos, but even occult seduction to the Otherworld and alliance with M'wboe (the Man-With-Blanked-Out-Eyes) can't suppress a racial prejudice founded in his days as a 1930s Nazi Blackshirt. When a polemical bullet is administered to his brain and, subsequently, an imam in Addingcombe – Sadar Saddubin – is found dead with a sabre knife up his jacksy, inspector Pannifer's desire to write an Agatha Christie style crime novel must simmer patiently on the backburner.
This is another state of the nation reconstruction fuelled by fantastical elaboration, which contains magpie-snatchings of found socio-political reality and popular culture, all charged with a supernatural current guaranteed to weird you out. Roses open for Christmas, a two-headed entity orgasms, and Grungehill Comprehensive ex-pupil Glenford Gates stammers. The push and pull of Mike Weller's prose is lent hypnotic clarity by an omniscient third-person narrative, and this Slow Science Fictions series is of- and out of- this world.