I’m one of the legion of fans who has been eagerly awaiting the third installment of Dean Koontz’s reinvention of the Frankenstein story and I’m glad to say it has finally been published. We just received our copies at the library last week and mine is sitting by my bed on the top of my reading pile.
There has been plenty of talk on the Internet about the third installment, called Dead and Alive, and there were plenty of rumours about what had happened to the book. From what I read, Koontz’s official explanation was that it was due to be released in 2005, but because the books are set in New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina hit, virtually wiping out the city, he felt that it wasn’t right to release Frankenstein’s monster as well. Therefore the book was delayed and rewritten and we can now read the final installment. If anybody has already read it, I’d love to hear what you thought. I have a feeling I may need to reread the first two books to refresh my memory.
A detective novel with a supernatural twist, what more could you ask for! This is exactly how I would describe John Connolly’s books about Maine PI Charlie Parker. Parker’s first appearance was in Connolly’s first novel, Every Dead Thing, in which Charlie Parker’s wife and child are killed and he becomes consumed with hatred and a desire for revenge. He quits the NYPD and gains his private eye license in order to track down his wife and daughter’s killer. This career change sets him on a path that sees him come up against some pretty disturbing people and all sorts of evil.
In Connolly’s latest Charlie Parker thriller, The Lovers, Parker has to delve into his past and dredge up some memories that he would have sooner forgotten, and we also learn alot about his parents and the decisions that they had to make to protect him. I’ve only read a few of Connolly’s books about Parker but I now want to go back and read some of the earlier ones to fill in some gaps. However, you don’t have to have read any of his previous books to understand what’s going on.
I’m not really into crime books that are told from the perspective of police detectives or forensic experts as I find them a little too bogged down in jargon. This is one of the reasons I enjoy Connolly’s books so much as Parker is a PI working on his own and following his own rules, with some help from his acquaintances Angel and Louis. I also find that the feel of his books is similar to Dean Koontz as they’ve got a dark nature to them.
Speaking of music for funerals, how about trying something different. Here as some suggestions that surfaced in a 2009 survey of possible funeral music. Highway to Hell (AC DC), Bat out of Hell (Meatloaf), Another one Bites the Dust (Queen), Stairway to Heaven (Led Zepplin), I’ll Sleep when I’m Dead (Bon Jovi), Always look on the Bright Side of Life (Monty Python), Ding Dong the Witch is Dead (Wizard of Oz), Hit the Road Jack (Willie Nelson) and I’m too Sexy (Right Said Fred). Not everyone’s cup of tea perhaps, but it certainly makes a change from The Lord is my Shepherd, All Things Bright and Beautiful and Amazing Grace.
The night is a deep velvet blue and the moon an alabaster balloon and the planets and the stars are spilled across the heavens, in handfuls and heaps, like gold coins. The smell of brine lives deep within the breeze that blows up from across the ocean and speaks, in a secret way, to the crowd of women who walk down the main sodium-lit thoroughfare – it speaks of deep, feminine mysteries and unawakened and illimitable desires, of silver-haired mermaids and bearded, trident-waving mermen and the looped humps of sea monsters and bejewelled cities drowned beneath masses of unreadable water. No one can remember a night quite so magical in Bognor Regis for years.
p. 257 The death of Bunny Munro by Nick Cave. For that paragraph Sir I might forgive you that lurid Nana-frightening cover.
This book is one of the most filmic I’ve read in ages. I could do casting for it, no problems. Bunny junior would be one of those be-freckled pointy faced Billy Elliott types. Bunny himself – Ian McShane (Al Swearengen of Deadwood fame is his standout role). Pixie-ish and gloomingly voiced Shirley Henderson would be Bunny’s wife (and little Bunny’s mother).
Sir Cave knows how to tell a story and this one combines the brutal and the beautiful so seamlessly. the title may tell you how it ends, but don’t let it stop you taking a ride in Bunny’s Punto. It’s a picaresque journey round Brighton, tainted everywhere by Bunny’s libidinous hankerings, and by the soft and sad yearnings of his son who explores his encyclopedia as if knowledge would bring him safety and happiness.
Next stop, listening to Nick tell the story. Can’t. Hardly. Wait.