While not the most exciting of the Laundry novels, The Rhesus Chart is certainly the most expansive. Continuing the story of Bob Howard, computational demonologist, is taken to the next level. More information about his position within the Laundry is revealed, more about his relationship with his wife Mo is presented and a greater understanding of the Laundry provided. Stross has also invented a great new vampire that fits almost seamlessly into his Laundry universe. Some wonderful characters are introduced, others re-visited and Bob gets a cat.
I would love to say more about this book, but any serious discussion of it will be full of spoilers and I do not want to ruin any part of the experience for fans of Stross’s Laundry stories. Suffice it to say, this is one of the best of the novels; a nice slow burn leading to an explosive finish. I hope—pray—that Mr. Stross continues to write in the Laundry universe. It is one of the finest Lovecraftian fantasies available.
Fans will be sure to enjoy this. If you are new to the Laundry, you can read it without the previous novels, but a certain amount of the action and characterization relies on the earlier books. Do yourself a favour if you haven’t already read and pick up The Atrocity Archive and start the saga of Bob Howard.