Book Review: A Hag Rises from the Abyss, by Douglas Lumsden

I adored the previous Alex Southerland novels, so when I got the ARC for this one I practically squealed with joy. It was worth the wait!

What to Expect

Another paranormal case in the wonderful urban fantasy series of Alex Southerland, PI. This time time he gets hired (coerced, more like) into helping the mayor with a haunting apparition. He’s far more interested in solving the death of a nightclub singer (to say nothing about the strange creature rummaging in his trash bins), and it seems like these contradictory directions might correlate — as well as bring up nightmares from his own past.

We also get delightfully tantalising views in the history of the world, and the forces that shaped it similarly-yet-differently to ours.

What I liked

I love the blend of both the 1920’s and modern sensibilities. Lumsden does a credible job of keeping the pulp gumshoe vibe, while avoiding the cliches and misogyny that were rife in that era and literature. In style, Alex is a likeable and engaging character — he cares, and you care for him.

What to be aware of

This is book 3 of the series. Each one is a more-or-less independent case and can be read by itself, but as there are references to past events and recurring characters it makes more sense to read in order.

Felix’s Review

Other than Alex’s choice of food — for himself and in feeding stray animals — Felix’s very much agrees with me here. Felix found the logical and emotional progression of the case without fault, a true representation of a detective dealing with the occult.


Go and read this! This is one of the best Urban Fantasy detectives I’ve read, a perfect blend of a 1920’s gumshoe vibe and the occult.

Enjoying the reviews, but wondering who the heck is that Felix fellow? Glad you asked! He’s the protagonist of the Togas, Daggers, and Magic series, an historical-fantasy blend of a paranormal detective on the background of ancient Rome. Come meet him on the free short stories and novels!

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