Four detectives. Four time periods. Four bodies.
Or is it only one body, appearing at different points in the same London street - 1890, 1940, 2014 and 2050? That's the high concept in Si Spencer's new Vertigo series, but it's not the only reason to check it out. Each vignette features authentic dialogue that will delight lovers of words (admittedly, I don't know how cops will speak several years from now, but this is fantastic fiction and it works), while the story is nicely structured.
The words give a sense of place, as does the artwork from a quartet of talents. In order of time period, we have Dean Ormston, Phil Winslade, Meghan Hetrick and Tula Lotay, and all offer enticing images as part of their overall storytelling. Equally important are the colours of Lee Loughridge, with different treatments for each segment, while the letters of Dezi Sienty and Taylor Esposito add character of their own. Fiona Stephenson's cover, adorned by Steve Cook's fascinating logo, are the icing on the visual cake.
Our four detectives are a rum bunch - Inspector Edmond Hillinghead, a fair man with little time for the masonic style nonsense in which his Victorian colleagues dabble; Inspector Charles Whiteman, racist policeman trying to keep his German background under wraps during the Blitz; DS Shahara Hasan, modern day special patrol group officer; and Maplewood, apparently addled future cop.
While the latter is the least immediately engaging - because Spencer requires me to do actual work in order to understand her story, darn him - her chapter is a grabber. And I like her black humour.
Bodies is a thoroughly good read, a great-looking puzzle box set to open up over the next eight months. Give it a try.