Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Child of Darkness Child of Light - Dennis Dufour

I know there is another book with this same title, and no, I haven't read it. But I did read this one, cover to cover, in about 45 minutes.
"NO WAY" you say?
"Yes Way" I reply.
First of all, the book is only 171 pages, and it's not like they packed the text in there tightly. So is it good or bad that I read the whole book while waiting for a meatloaf to cook? I guess it depends on the reader... whoever they are, they will fly from beginning to end. The text flows well, the majority of the characters are stereotypes that we know (sure they are multifaceted stereotypes, but they are sterotypes none the less) so we don't have much trouble figuring out who is the good guy and why we like him.

Short Synopsis (but better than the back of the book): We have a nasty serial killer on the loose, and he has a very specific agenda... harming our hero - Simon Reynolds. Good thing Mr. Reynolds is a detective! We follow Simon through the investigation as the case gets personal, and he discovers that everyone he holds dear may be in jeopardy if he cannot catch the killer... a killer who knows him better than he should.

Ignore the back cover because it makes this book sound like a bad rehash of Law and Order. In a way this IS like most of the cop books/movies you've seen/read. You feel like you know all of the characters, you feel fairly comfortable that you know where this is headed, and right from the beginning you feel safe with how this book is going to turn out. For having a serial killer, the book is very low on the gore scale... though we see one of the murders, the truly disgusting aspects are kept from us. The focus of the book is instead on Simon and his search for the killer.

So is this a good book? I will say that this is a wonderful author capable of writing a very fast paced and fun novel. This book IS fun. Where is the problem? Well, from the second he walked across the page I knew who the killer was... but I thought - maybe he's a red herring... but... he wasn't. There WERE a few red herrings but none jumped out at me like the true killer... which kind of took a lot of the fun out of the ending for me. On the whole this book was very safe, it played it safe in every sense of the word, it never strayed out of it's genera, it never pushed the envelope, and it wrapped up just how the reader wanted it to. Sometimes you need a book like that. Lucky for me I was in the right mood for the book, on a different day I might have hated it. But as it stood, it was a very enjoyable 45 minutes spent reading.

If I could change anything about this book, I would cut out the paragraphs from the serial killer's point of view, and then smash this book toghther with another as a double feature having both run at about 120 pages or so. That would be in my ideal world. But even if that never happens, this is a fun bus read, or short plane trip read. I wouldn't mind checking out more from this author in the future.

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