John Taylor

Created by Simon R. Green

“Taylor is the name. John Taylor. My card says I'm a detective, but what I really am is an expert on finding lost things. It's part of the gift I was born with as a child of the Nightside.”

Just in case you're wondering, the "Nightside" is "the gaudy, neon noir, secret heart of London, where it's always three in the morning Where you can walk beside myths and drink with monsters. Where nothing is what it seems and everything is possible.”

JOHN TAYLOR has returned to the Nightside, where he was born and raised and escaped from one jump ahead of death, after several lackluster years in the normal world. It is as deadly as ever for him there, but it's the only place he feels truly at home in. He makes his living as a shamus by utilizing his gift for finding things, when he opens his metaphysical "private eye" agency.

But every time he does, he sets off all sorts of alarms on the "magical plane," and risks letting his enemies latch onto his whereabouts, the most implacable of which are the Harrowing, invincible and unstoppable faceless humanoids who have been hunting him ever since he was a kid.

Taylor's chief adversary is Walker. This very proper English gentleman is chief enforcer for the Authorities, the shadowy powerbrokers of the Nightside, and what passes for law and order in this chaotic hell on Earth. Walker was a friend of Taylor's late father, who drank himself to death after finding out that his beloved wife, Taylor's mother, was more than merely mortal but perhaps less than human.

In fact, Taylor would sure as hell like to find out just who his mother was, exactly: goddess, demon, monster, sorceress, or what. But there's every indication is that this question just might be better left unanswered, as it could have cataclysmic consequences for everyone in the Nightside.

Helping him stay alive in this hostile environment when his wits just aren't enough are a carefully cultivated reputation as someone not to be messed with and a few magical talents he's picked up, like the ability to teleport the bullets of an adversary's gun into the palm of his hand. You know, stuff like that.

He also relies on the sometime assistance of a variety of friends and acquaintances, such as Razor Eddie, the Punk God of the Straight Razor. Then there's Suzie Shooter, also known as Shotgun Suzie or “Oh God, it's Her, Run!” Not to mention Julien Advent, the erstwhile great Victorian Adventurer and the epitome of integrity who now runs the Night Times newspaper (whose motto is 'All the News, Dammit.'). Also along for the ride are Dead Boy, who has been seventeen for the past thirty years since being murdered in a random mugging; Madman, a once-brilliant scientist who figured out a way to view (and distort) Reality as it really is and is now quite insane and Sinner, rejected by both Heaven and Hell for finding True Love with the demoness who damned his soul, and is now doomed to wander the Earth forever.

Just a jolly bunch over-all.

Taylor's favorite hangout is Strangefellows, purportedly the oldest pub in the history of Mankind, locatede just off some very mean streets indeed, down a side alley that isn't always there and haunted by Merlin himself, who's buried in the basement. Naturally, this is not the kindly old wizard of Disney movies -- death has only pissed the old wizard off.

Like I said, a jolly bunch over-all.

And if that's not enough, the ever-prolific Green has recently started a new seriesfeaturing Ishmael Jones, another investigator specializing in things that go bump in the night.

THE EVIDENCE

  • "Private eyes come in all shapes and sizes, and none of them look like television stars."

-- opening lines of Something From the Nightside

UNDER OATH

  • “Cross the X-Files with The Twilight Zone, add a pinch of The Outer Limits and dash of Eerie, Indiana, and one might have a glimmer of an idea what the Nightside is like.”

--BookBrowser

NOVELS

SHORT STORIES

  • "The Nightside, Needless to Say" (2004, Powers of Detection)
  • "Razor Eddie's Big Night Out" (2006)
  • "Lucy at Christmastime" (2008, Wolfsbane and Mistletoe)
  • "Appetite for Murder" (2008, Unusual Suspects)
  • "The Difference a Day Makes" (2009, Mean Streets)
  • "Some of These Cons Go Way Back" (2009, Cemetery Dance 60)
  • "The Spirit of the Thing" (2011, Those Who Fight Monsters)
  • "Hungry Heart" (2011, Down These Strange Streets)...Buy this book.. Kindle it!
  • "How Do You Feel" (2012, Hex Appeal)
  • "The Big Game" (2015, Tales from the Nightside)

COLLECTIONS

Collects ten short stories featuring the assorted denizens of the Nightside, including John Taylor, of course.

RELATED LINKS

This site's collection of some rather, uh, peculiar private eyes.

Respectfully submitted by David Nobriga and Kevin Burton Smith.


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