Sunday, September 13, 2009

Bad Karma -- Dave Zeltserman

Bill Shannon, a Boston cop in Bad Thoughts, gets put through the wringer. After those terrible events, he left Boston and moves to Boulder, Colorado, where he sets up shop as a private-eye while trying to develop some of his latent powers (such as having out-of-body experiences). He and his ex-wife live happily together, and things are going well until Shannon takes on a case that begins with the brutal double murder of a couple of college students. During the course of his investigation, Shannon takes on another case [SPOILER ALERT -- the two cases turn out to be connected -- END OF SPOILER ALERT] that involves a strange religious cult and Russian mobsters. Really bad Russian mobsters. Shannon has shaken off many of the effects of his experiences in Bad Thoughts, but he's still a damaged character, which makes him interesting company. And if you like the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry, you'll find some fun in Shannon's banter with a couple of other characters. Finally, there's a nice nod to Fast Lane, Zeltserman's earlier novel set in Colorado.

The violence in this book is more subdued than that in Bad Thoughts, but it's certainly there. The story is also a pretty straightforward p.i. tale, though not without some horror and New Age elements, which once again proves Zeltserman's versatility (he's doing noir novels and Nero Wolfe pastiches in EQMM, among other things). If you haven't read Zeltserman's work, it's time to start. He's making quite a name for himself these days.

1 comment:

Paul D Brazill said...

Sounds damn fine. I've only read 'Small Crimes' -which I ADORED -and his short stories so it's good to have so much more of DZ to catch up on.