A fungoid fecund novel that will leave dreamers mucky with the mildews that eat upon the dead.

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NECROSCOPE: DEFILERS

Twelfth doorstop volume in Lumley’s already swollen vampire series (Necroscope: Invaders, 1999, etc.), with the next installment (Necroscope: Avengers) announced.

Here is a series hopelessly in need of a Necropedia: Footsteps of the Dead encyclical to help keep all the Wamphyri and their factotums straight amid the parallel universes of bloodsucker invaders and the varied vampire hunters tracking them down. The principals, the now dead but actually undead Necroscope Harry Keogh, and today’s Jake Cutter, are themselves composed of so many splintered figures, often evil, that even Lumley’s opening résumés, while reminding old readers of faded meteor arcs in the series’ overarching plotline, are of little help to the necronovice. Worse, Lumley’s densely dumbfounding résumés come in a spaghetti tangle of twisted grammar and seem typed under hypnosis or by autopilot on deep sedative. Yes, Harry Keogh’s dead, but he’s splintered into golden darts in other universes, although one dart has landed in the dreaming subconscious of Jake Cutter, a leading vampire killer with Britain’s supersecret E-Branch (ESP trackers of the dead). Jake has an added secret: Aside from having a revenant of Harry in him, he also houses a fragment of Korath Mindsthrall, an important vampire killed by Harry in Romania, whose knowledge allows Jake to travel through the Mobius Continuum and speak with the dead. Korath is infected by the powers of Malinari, Lord of the Wamphyri. And let’s not forget hideously beautiful Vavara, hag rival of Malinari, who eats wild honey and wolf hearts, and adds a sprinkle of lust to an otherwise entirely abstract though bloodthirsty thriller. Now, as if Wamphyri aren’t enough to deal with, Jake seeks the blood of Mafioso Luigi Castellano, whose mob killed his girlfriend and whose members are tied to an alien parallel dimension.

A fungoid fecund novel that will leave dreamers mucky with the mildews that eat upon the dead.

Pub Date: May 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-312-87261-5

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Tor

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2000

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A strange, subtle, and haunting novel.

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THE GLASS HOTEL

A financier's Ponzi scheme unravels to disastrous effect, revealing the unexpected connections among a cast of disparate characters.

How did Vincent Smith fall overboard from a container ship near the coast of Mauritania, fathoms away from her former life as Jonathan Alkaitis' pretend trophy wife? In this long-anticipated follow-up to Station Eleven (2014), Mandel uses Vincent's disappearance to pick through the wreckage of Alkaitis' fraudulent investment scheme, which ripples through hundreds of lives. There's Paul, Vincent's half brother, a composer and addict in recovery; Olivia, an octogenarian painter who invested her retirement savings in Alkaitis' funds; Leon, a former consultant for a shipping company; and a chorus of office workers who enabled Alkaitis and are terrified of facing the consequences. Slowly, Mandel reveals how her characters struggle to align their stations in life with their visions for what they could be. For Vincent, the promise of transformation comes when she's offered a stint with Alkaitis in "the kingdom of money." Here, the rules of reality are different and time expands, allowing her to pursue video art others find pointless. For Alkaitis, reality itself is too much to bear. In his jail cell, he is confronted by the ghosts of his victims and escapes into "the counterlife," a soothing alternate reality in which he avoided punishment. It's in these dreamy sections that Mandel's ideas about guilt and responsibility, wealth and comfort, the real and the imagined, begin to cohere. At its heart, this is a ghost story in which every boundary is blurred, from the moral to the physical. How far will Alkaitis go to deny responsibility for his actions? And how quickly will his wealth corrupt the ambitions of those in proximity to it? In luminous prose, Mandel shows how easy it is to become caught in a web of unintended consequences and how disastrous it can be when such fragile bonds shatter under pressure.

A strange, subtle, and haunting novel.

Pub Date: March 24, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-525-52114-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Nov. 25, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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THE POET

Connelly takes a break from his Harry Bosch police novels (The Last Coyote, p. 328, etc.) for something even more intense: a reporter's single-minded pursuit of the serial killer who murdered his twin. Even his buddies in the Denver PD thought Sean McEvoy's shooting in the backseat of his car looked like a classic cop suicide, right clown to the motive: his despondency over his failure to clear the murder of a University of Denver student. But as Sean's twin brother, Jack, of the Rocky Mountain News, notices tiny clues that marked Sean's death as murder, his suspicions about the dying message Sean scrawled inside his fogged windshield—"Out of space. Out of time"—alert him to a series of eerily similar killings stretching from Sarasota to Albuquerque. The pattern, Jack realizes, involves two sets of murders: a series of sex killings of children, and then the executions (duly camouflaged as suicides) of the investigating police officers. Armed with what he's dug up, Jack heads off to Washington, to the Law Enforcement Foundation and the FBI. The real fireworks begin as Jack trades his official silence for an inside role in the investigation, only to find himself shut out of both the case and the story. From then on in, Jack, falling hard for Rachel Walling, the FBI agent in charge of the case, rides his Bureau connections like a bucking bronco—even as one William Gladden, a pedophile picked up on a low-level charge in Santa Monica, schemes to make bail before the police can run his prints through the national computer, then waits with sick patience for his chance at his next victim. The long-awaited confrontation between Jack and Gladden comes at an LA video store; but even afterward, Jack's left with devastating questions about the case. Connelly wrings suspense out of every possible aspect of Jack's obsessive hunt for his brother's killer. Prepare to be played like a violin.

Pub Date: Jan. 15, 1996

ISBN: 0-316-15398-2

Page Count: 440

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1995

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