Archives for: August 2010
By Alex Kava
After Albert Stucky, a brutal and clever serial killer known as "The Collector," escapes from prison, he forces FBI profiler Maggie O'Dell, the agent who originally captured him, to play a deadly game when he targets her and everyone associated with her, pushing her to the very edge of sanity. (Description taken from Fantastic Fiction)
My Review: Split Second is the second installment of Kava's Maggie O'Dell series (after A Perfect Evil) and it is much better than the first. The tone and maturity is evident in Kava’s sophomore novel as the rookie mistakes (i.e.: the amateurish and out-of-place romance scenes) are replaced with a more tightly plotted thriller/murder mystery. Although Nick Morelli makes a reappearance in this book, Maggie O’Dell takes center stage and her character is much more developed than the first. An entertaining read to curl up with on the patio as the days of summer slowly turn to fall.
New Horror Paperbacks
Empire: A Zombie Novel by David Dunwoody
Summary: The outbreak began in 2007. It's now 2112. The crippled U.S. government is giving up in its fight against an undead plague. Military forces and aid have been withdrawn from the last coastal cities, leaving those who choose to stay in the "badlands" defenseless against hordes of zombified humans and animals. It's been a hopeless battle from the beginning. The undead, born of an otherworldly energy fused with a deadly virus, have no natural enemies. But they do have one supernatural enemy. Death himself. Descending upon the ghost town of Jefferson Harbor, Louisiana, the Grim Reaper embarks on a bloody campaign to put down the legions that have defied his touch for so long. He will find allies in the city's last survivors, and a nemesis in a man who wants to harness the force driving the zombies-a man who seeks to build an empire of the dead where America once stood.
Night Road by A. M. Jenkins
Summary: Battling his own memories and fears, Cole, an extraordinarily conscientious vampire, and Sandor, a more impulsive acquaintance, spend a few months on the road, trying to train a young man who recently joined their ranks.
Darkness on the Edge of Town by Brian Keene
Summary: One morning the residents of Walden, Virginia, woke to find themselves cut off from the rest of the world by an impenetrable wall of darkness.
Snow by Ronald Malfi
Summary: A brutal snowstorm has blanketed the area and brought with it translucent phantoms that invade humans and drive them to murder.
Night Souls by L. H. Maynard and M. P. N. Sims
Summary: Department 18 takes on the Breathers, the species of psychic-sexual vampires from Demon Eyes, and gets caught between warring factions-one wants to coexist peacefully with humans and the other wants only to feed off them until humanity is wiped out.
Ancestor by Scott Sigler
Summary: On a remote island in Lake Superior, scientists struggle to solve the problem of xenotransplantation -- using animal tissue to replace failing human organs. Funded by the biotech firm Genada, Dr. Claus Rhumkorrf seeks to recreate the ancestor of all mammals. By getting back to the root of our creation, Rhumkorrf hopes to create an animal with human internal organs. Rhumkorrf discovers the ancestor, but it is not the small, harmless creature he envisions. His genius gives birth to a fast-growing evil that nature eradicated 250 million years ago -- an evil now on the loose, and very, very hungry...
The Bridge by John Skipp and Craig Spector
Summary: When the storm comes, the good life ends. And Hell on Earth begins. For a hundred years, we've been tossing our toxic waste over our shoulders. No more. This morning, while we slept, something woke up. It's virulent. Malign. Intelligent. Ambitious. It's in our food, our water, our air. It's inside our bodies themselves. And it's not leaving. We are.
Copy Cat Murderer?
A Perfect Evil
By Alex Kava
My review: Convicted killer Ronald Jeffreys is executed for the murder and desecration of three little boys. He wholeheartedly admits his guilt to one of the three, but goes to his grave professing his innocence for the other two murders. In three short months after the execution, another body of a young boy is found killed in a similar manner. Small town sheriff Nick Morrelli realizes he’s in over his head and lacks the resources to deal with an investigation of such a scale. He enlists the help of Maggie O’Dell, one of the FBI’s best but headstrong and sometimes reckless criminal profiler.
Typical yet entertaining as far as serial killer novels are concerned. The perspective changes from character to character usually at the beginning of each chapter which is great. It allows the reader an insight into the makings and mind of the killer and answers the question of “why.”
Although there are a few twists and turns along the way, my biggest complaint is that the killer’s identity is revealed far too early in the novel. The second concern would be the forced romance between the two main characters. In such a tightly plotted thriller, there was no room for a clumsy and almost “teenage-like” romance.
The open-ended storyline and lack of closure guarantees the reappearance of the killer but readers will have to read through until the 5th book in the series A Necessary Evil to be reacquainted with him.
The Rogue Reader
House Playing This Weekend at RPL Film Theatre
In Japanese with English subtitles
Get your seats early for this retro cult treat directed by Nobuhiko Obayashi!
''Delirious, deranged, gonzo or just gone, baby, gone - no single adjective or even a pileup does justice to ''House,'' a 1977 Japanese haunted-house freakout. Directed by Nobuhiko Obayashi, this energetic exemplar of pulp surrealism began surfacing in the United States last year, playing at events like the New York Asian Film Festival. A midnight movie in lysergic spirit and vibe, this was a film made for late-night screening and screaming. The yelps you'll hear and possibly emit, though, will be of surprise and delight, not terror. ''House,'' which turns on a misbegotten, increasingly violent trip taken by seven teenage girls, is not in the least scary, despite its body count and gore. If the hairs on your neck snap to attention, it will be only because of Mr. Obayashi's flamboyant visual style, his comic flights of fancy and genre manipulations. This might be about a haunted house, but it's the film that is more truly possessed: in one scene a piano bites off the fingers of a musician tickling its keys; in another a severed head tries to take a bite out of a girl's rear, snapping at the derriere as if it were an apple. Later a roomful of futons goes on the attack. ''House'' was Mr. Obayashi's first feature, and at times it feels as if he threw everything - every movie he had ever seen, every idea he had ever entertained - at the screen, using the horror genre as a big box into which he could combine the bits and pieces he wanted to sample from avant-garde cinema, Looney Tunes cartoons, schlock Italian horror and martial arts movies.''New York Times
Check the Movie Theatre Calendar for showtimes.
New Graphic Novel
New in the library! Arkham Asylum: Madness by Sam Kieth.
Description: It is the most feared house in all of Gotham City. It contains the worst that the city has to offer. It is the place The Dark Knight's most dangerous and psychotic foes call home. Writer/artist Sam Kieth, creator of THE MAXX and artist of the acclaimed miniseries LOBO: HIGHWAY TO HELL, invites you to spend 24 hours in Arkham Asylum – the most unsettling house in the DC Universe.
May's Comment: Okay, maybe not so horror-filled but then again, who knows what madness lurks behind the walls of Arkham Asylum...