"Publication seeks desperate human being with capability to form sentences using the English language. No imbeciles, optimists, or Simons need apply."
The plot: Hannah Willis is desperate. She's newly divorced, broke, and has no job experience or real job skills. Still, she's not sure she's desperate enough to join the staff of The Stranger Times. The newspaper reports on the bizarre, the weird, and the unbelievable. Even stepping inside the office, which is housed in an old church, feels like stepping into a looney bin. When Hannah arrives for her job interview, Reggie, a reporter on the paranormal, is on the roof, threatening to jump, and Bancroft, the paper's bombastic and often drunk editor, is threatening to shoot him.
The other employees of The Stranger Times include Ox Chen, the paper's avowed ufologist, Stella, a snarky green-haired teen who was caught breaking into the church and now works there in penance, and Grace, the office manager. They're an odd bunch, and not always welcoming, but Hannah really needs this job.
Things get even more surreal when several unexplainable incidents around Manchester make Hannah and the others start to wonder if some of the fantastic stories The Stranger Times prints each week might actually be true.
My thoughts: This is one crazy fun book! It combines dark humor, dark magic and a mystery compelling enough to get even Bancroft out of his office and onto the streets of Manchester to investigate. I thought the bad guy was very unpleasant and creepy, but I grew to really like Hannah and all the other oddball and quirky characters working at The Stranger Times. Their humorous interactions made me laugh and kept me reading late into the night. I thoroughly enjoyed this one, and I'm so glad McDonnell is writing a sequel. And I really want to thank Verushka for reviewing this book on her blog POP.EDIT.LIT; it was her review that made me want to read this one in the first place.
Similar Read: Ghosts of Gotham