A hideous disappointment after how much I truly dug Headhunter, which in my opinion is one of the ballsiest and most compelling mixes of the crime/police procedural and horror genres Ive ever read. I really, REALLY wanted to like this book and spent a long time looking for it so I had nothing but the best intentions here...but Id be reading it and I just wouldnt feel that thrilling, morbid spark I got from the first book.
Then Id put it down for like a couple weeks until Id suddenly uncover it in some random location and be like Hey...why havent I been reading this?! and like 30 minutes later Id answer myself with Oh yeah...THIS is why.So Michael Slade is a pseudonym for actually more than one person working in tandem on these books.
I feel like someone new came in or left since the first one, because this doesnt even feel like the same author. Its just...utterly predictable and lame. The focus on rock music (particularly Alice Cooper) and Lovecraft got nauseatingly trite and overplayed, which is especially bad because I fuckin love rock music and really like Lovecraft.
I just heard myself going...I fucking get it. Lovecraft and Cooper. Lovecraft and Cooper. Lovecraft and Cooper. Who are you trying to impress with this shit? constantly in my head. Of course Cooper blurb-fellated this book on the cover, Slade was mentioning him in every other paragraph. I know he has an ostensible excuse but it didnt fly at all for me.The procedural stuff was a huge boring pain in the ass as well.
I get that at the time the technology Slade spends so much time explaining and examining was cutting-edge and fascinating, but unfortunately I read this in 2015 and it was like some guy trying to tell me how awesome an Atari is.
I feel like there was a little bit of this stuff in the previous book, but there is a fucking DELUGE in this one. It just really hurt the momentum and atmosphere of the story. Slade was trying to conjure some spooky, London gothic aura here and then hes talking about fucking pre-DOS operating systems creating 3D models of sewers and it was just dreadful.
It doesnt help the story itself is completely disjointed, jumping randomly across decades and oceans, back and forth until I dont know who people are and dont give a flying fuck anymore because its frustrating.I did like the new addition of Zinc Chandler, who is like a silver-haired tough guy renegade cop type.
I was really excited when Slade introduced him and put him through his cat-and-mouse game with the genuinely creepy Sid Jinks, but almost immediately after that Slade was constantly blueballing me with the stupid shit about the rock band Ghoul and DCI (or whatever...I cant get a handle on British police ranks) Hilary Rands political struggles...you really could have shaved all that shit away, and had this been a pure Chandler-driven book and not only would you have saved like 200 pages it would have been much more entertaining and propulsive.
Again, massive disappointments to be had around every corner.I didnt dig this shit. I really feel strongly about my theory about the human makeup of the Slade persona changing, and they need to fix this shit. I see that one of the two male Slades brought his daughter in to work on this shit. Listen, I like the idea of family-run businesses and stuff like that, but this is fucking writing, not a fucking bakery. The vast majority of people on the Earth are not good or even decent writers and I feel like this might have totally fucked up a really good formula.
I already bought Cutthroat on the strength of liking the first book so much, but this makes me kind of look at it with apprehension when I run into it on my bookshelf, like a new acquaintance youre kinda dubious about.