Happy belated Halloween to all who observe! Again, I don’t have as many leftovers as I did in recent months since I’m logging so many full reviews for the Book Bingo. But here’s what I got, all of them quality 4-star reads…
Batman: The Impostor
Really enjoyed this one. A fresh take, helped by the fact that Batman is surrounded by characters with no history. Jim Gordon is off the force. Alfred has forsaken him (or vice versa). No Joker, no Riddler, Penguin functions as nothing more than an informant. It allowed for the story to just be itself: yet another “Is Batman objectively good?” tale. Only this one, using an impostor, does a good job of answering it: there is always a compromise to fighting crime. Also, it gives Bruce a love interest in the only non-Selena romance storyline I’ve enjoyed. Capped off with beautiful art and this one is a winner.
Maybe I just need to work around the edges with Jo Nesbø? I’ve never been able to get through a Harry Hole book but this is his second standalone I’ve read and it’s excellent. A thrilling rollercoaster going up through Norway’s elites and down through Oslo’s underbelly exploring the connection between politics and gangsterism as one man seeks revenge. The Christological aspects I can take or leave; they’re interesting but ultimately unnecessary. And the book flags in the end with the villains getting too mustache twisty, the love story too hokey and the end too expository. But the journey to get there is a knockout from a writer at the top of his game.
Killer Come Back to Me
This month’s Hard Case Crime was different than what I normally read from the label. Ray Bradbury is a legendary writer but I’m not overly familiar with his work. I knew his most popular stuff was the book burning one and some sci-fi series but that was it. This diverse collection of crime, ranging from pure horror to Black Mirror-esque scifi, to noir-as-hell was an entertaining read. I’m never going to be big on short stories but some of these were engaging. I’ll probably forget most of them but the few I’ll remember really grabbed me.
The Devil’s Wedding Ring
An entertaining, engaging read. The writer’s pacing never slows down, which might bother some but I felt like it worked here. As usual, I’m not a fan of long expo dumps at the end, preferring my clues seeded instead. But I liked the imagery, the occult vs Christianity stuff, and other aspects.