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Detective Frank Castle may be retired, but there's still a killer to catch!
If this is a taste of new noir in fiction, count me in. When it comes to crime thrillers, I like mine creepy.
The creepier, the better.
Frank Castle, a retired detective based in London, is tracking a killer. The killer, it turns out, is his long, lost son. A son he didn't know he had until it was revealed to him in the last book.
At the same time!
This was something I learned in the first four pages.
Oh yeah, his ex-wife, the killer's mother...dead. Hung in her home, surrounded by an accouterment of Mickey Mouse memorabilia.
And that's not the only creepy usage of Mickey Mouse by the killer in this book about father's, son's, and retribution.
I thought to myself if this is how the book starts, I'm in for one hell of a ride. And Richard Godwin, critically acclaimed author of over 20 books, is at the top of his game with this, his latest release Apostle Unbound, published by Black Jackal Books.
Fans of Thomas Harris will find much to love here as the book has the same psychological creepiness of his Dr. Lecter books. But in Godwin's world, it is Karl Black who seems to be the psycho-in-charge, nevermind that he's locked up, he is in control.
Or is he?
The writing is solid throughout and kept me turning pages despite the sporadic typo in my reviewer's copy. The pacing is fierce regardless of the state of retired detective Frank Castle. He may have been the intended star of this novel; and perhaps he was the central motivating force behind the events that took place in the previous book, Apostle Rising, but for this reader, the real star of this book is Castle's ex-partner, DCI Jacki Stone. She is a cop's cop, through and through, despite dealing with a marriage that is in shambles.
Due to the events in the previous book, Castle and Stone have been seriously, psychologically scarred. Both exhibit signs of depression and PTSD. Castle is a full-blown alcoholic throughout this book, and this is why I believe it is Stone who shines through. Occasionally, Castle makes some progress on the case, but it is Stone and her new Partner Nash who are out trodding the streets trying to catch the killer.
Which may or may not be a copy cat. There were plenty of twists and turns to keep me guessing. And if you like your psychological suspense set in international locations, you'll love Apostle Unbound.
We start out in London, England and this is where most of the book takes place. But before long we are taken on a ride to the streets of Ecuador and the desert wastelands of Mexico, where Richard Godwin pens a scene worthy of a Quentin Tarantino movie.
We're talking straight killers-killing-killers...it was chilling.
It was brilliant.
And then Godwin reveals a wonderful nugget of terror...the bad guy, the killer savant, he's started a cult and building an army of believers to kill all the False Father's in society. The addition of this cult called The Gathering ratcheted up the terror for me and speaks of how contemporary Richard Godwin's work is. Sure, there may be serial killers among us, but what really frightens us are religious zealots with golden tickets to shed blood.
In anyone's name, that's scary.
The entire read was thoroughly enjoyable. To tell you too much about this book would be to ruin all the wonderful surprises and rather than alert you to spoilers, I'd rather you just pick up a copy and read it.