Sunday, October 14, 2012

What I Read in September

THE PRISONER by Thomas M. Disch (excellent sequel to the classic TV series)
Festival at Wolfnacht by Stephen Sullivan

I was thrilled to finally get around to reading the 'official' sequel novel to the classic British TV show The Prisoner. I've been a fan of the show for decades and I consider Thomas Disch to have been a fantastic writer so I'm surprised at myself for putting this off for so long. The book is a very good continuation of the series postulating that the events of the last episode were not quite as final as we might believe. Number 6 has been returned to the Village and is being more cleverly groomed to be the new Number 2. I found the structure of the tale to be perfect, the tone spot on and the dialog sharp and very much in keeping with the show's sparkling template for arch exchanges between intelligent antagonists. I can unreservedly recommend this to fans of the brilliant original 17 episode show.

Stephen Sullivan's excellent short story set in one of his large fantasy universes was very good with only one problem- I wanted more! Some of the characters are so interesting that I wanted to spend more time with them before the amazing, violent action cranked up. What was great for me was that I couldn't help seeing this as a great Hammer film that never got made- and that is a very good thin to be able to say. If you've never read any of Sullivan's work this is a good place to start.

KISS THE GIRLS AND MAKE THEM DIE was a book I thought was going to be a type of spy tale -don't ask why- but turned out to be a very literate murder mystery. I really enjoyed it and was happy with its complex characters and their difficult choices.

DARKNESS OF THE EDGE OF TOWN is a pretty straightforward police procedural about the tracking of a serial murderer of children. This crime case intersects with another from the lead investigator's past and her own childhood. It is a well done thriller but not in the upper tier of things I've read recently. I'd be willing to read more from the author.  

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