Monday, October 15, 2007

The Owl 2: Scarlet Serenade -- Bob Forward

When I reviewed The Owl, I mentioned that I'd discovered that while no sequel was published in the U. S., one was available in England. So I bought it from Amazon.uk. The price of the book wasn't so bad. The postage was a killer. But you know how it is, I'm sure. The sequel was published in 1990, but the copy I got was in like-new condition and had never been read.

There was some discussion in the comments of the original review about the author's name, mainly because there's a well-known SF writer named Robert L. Forward. You'll note that on The Owl 2, the author is billed as "Bob Forward."

I'm thinking that maybe I should let the book speak for itself a little, so here goes, from page 14:
Baroom! Baroom! Baroom! The Peacemaker roared in .45 basso profundo as my left palm slammed the hammer. The driver's body went three feet backward without touching the ground and hit asphalt in a heap. What was left of his head landed a good deal further on, as the last vestiges of crimson spray blew away on the dry and dusty wind. The Santa Ana tasted blood -- and it howled.
And from page 43:
But that was a long, dark decade ago; before Alexander L'Hiboux, reporter, was reborn in a Hell of fire and rage as the ever-deadly, never-sleeping Owl.
And from page 46:
"You're the Owl. You're an ice-blooded, two-fisted, merciless sonofabitch. You move fast, shoot faster, and never take unnecessary chances. You've stayed alive because you stay alone and out of sight. Yet now -- all of a sudden, you've got the cops, the drug underworld, and probably the FBI on your ass . . . ."
I must have been in a more receptive mood when reading this one than when reading The Owl because I enjoyed the heck out of it. It starts off over the top and builds from there. It's essentially one long chase scene as The Owl acts as bodyguard to a 16-year-old girl whom seemingly everybody in L. A. wants to get his hands on. There's blood, gore, and action aplenty. Norbert the dead bartender, a great character, makes a return appearance, as does the enigmatic Alcatraz. Too bad there wasn't an Owl 3.

9 comments:

Todd Mason said...

Sounds like this should be a cornerstone of a new Pronzini survey...GUN IN CRAW?

Bill Crider said...

Too bad Pronzini never made any money on those books. Otherwise, he might have done another one.

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

There was a third OWL book, THE OWL AND THE KILL PUSSYCAT, FASTER, FASTER.

Bill Crider said...

Gotta have it.

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

I guess that should have read FASTER PUSSYCAT, KILL, KILL. The mind is mushier every day.

John Forward said...

I really did enjoy this book. Just breezed through it, couldn't put it down.

Might be biased, with it being my father and all, but hey...

Bill Crider said...

Thanks for the comment, John. As I said, too bad there isn't a third book in the series.

Anonymous said...

Bought both books and I am reading the first and enjoying it a bunch! Great stuff! Thanks for the tip Bill!

Rich V.

Bill Crider said...

Always glad to be of service.