I have been reading a lot of urban fantasy lately, but none of the books that people have mentioned so far.
The three series I've been reading have been:
--Richard Kadrey's Sandman Slim novels (Sandman Slim
, Kill the Dead
, Aloha from Hell
, and Devil Said Bang
). I read Kadrey's cyberpunk novel Metrophage
decades ago, and I've been pleased to discover that he wasn't a one-hit wonder. In a world where magic exists, but behind the scenes--magic-users even call themselves the Sub Rosa--a young magician is betrayed by his friends and condemned to Hell while still alive. In Hell, he unexpectedly becomes an invincible gladiator, and at the beginning of the first novel he returns to Earth looking for revenge. Clearly inspired by hard-boiled crime fiction: the protagonist is even named Stark, as a shout-out to Richard Stark's Parker series.
--Charles Stross's Laundry Files novels (The Atrocity Archive
, The Jennifer Morgue
, The Fuller Memorandum
, and The Apocalypse Codex
). The nerdy protagonist, Bob Howard, works for an ultra-secret British government agency, the Laundry, that defends the realm (and the world) against cosmic threats from beyond space and time, while trying to cope with the sanity-destroying horror of civil-service bureaucracy. An interesting mash-up of near-future SF, Len Deighton, H. P. Lovecraft, and Yes, Minister
--and most recently, Chris F. Holm's The Collector series (Dead Harvest
and The Wrong Goodbye
, which I've just started). For his sins, the undead protagonist has been condemned to work as a Collector, reaping the souls of the damned when it's time to send them to their eternal reward. In the first novel, a routine collection job goes awry when he's assigned to take the soul of an innocent. The third novel will be entitled The Big Reap
I recommend all three, along with Jason Starr's The Pack
, which is about werewolves in New York.