A Killer's Essence--Dave Zeltserman

I last had the pleasure of reviewing Mr. Zeltserman's work with the really creepy and wonderful The Caretaker of Lorne Field.  That book was superb, readable, in all ways truly a fine example of the type of work it was.

I'm pleased to say that this book was also rewarding and entertaining, although I must say that it didn't quite hold together as well as Lorne Field.  Mr. Zeltserman has a strong prose style that draws the reader in and holds his or her attention until the book has ended.  His characters are interesting and the plot--a serial killer loose--was sufficiently interesting to hold our attention.

In addition we are introduced to a character with a very special and very rare ability--a fascinating ability that I am certain shall play an important role in the books to come.  And it seems fairly clear from this one that there is at least one more book to come.  This is certainly a welcome note for me.

I think my biggest quibble with the book is that it straddled genres to such an extent (noir, mystery, serial killer detective fiction) that as a result, hewing closer to the conventions of mystery than perhaps intended, the ending was a disappointment in that it failed the central rules of a "golden age" mystery.  I'll let others decide whether that is a detriment for them.  For me it did not sufficiently harm my enjoyment for me to do more than make this passing note.

Mr. Zeltserman is an author to watch--I encourage those who have not yet done so to pick up one of his novels and admire the sheer craftsmanship of the prose.  Truly, very nicely written--tight, to the point, clear.  I might object to the plotting and the resolution, but never to the writing itself.  I'll be picking up other novels as I can.

I suppose the last thing I should mention is that I took a short break from Jeffrey Eugenides's The Marriage Plot to fit this book in.  That's as high a compliment as I think possible to pay an author.

Highly recommended for those interested in the suspence/noir/thriller genre ****1/2


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