cornerofmadness (cornerofmadness) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

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Books 51-53

Hell Gate by Linda Fairstein

One of the things that I like best about Fairstein’s books, much like the Reichs books, is that Fairstein was a prosecutor for Manhattan’s sex crimes unit for decades, just like her character Alex Cooper. It does bring a sense of reality to her stories.

This one opens up with a shipwreck of the Golden Voyage, a slave ship filled with young people from the Ukraine. The snakeheads bringing them here naturally planned on forcing the girls into the sex slave rings and who knows with the young men, no happy endings there either. Unfortunately the shipwreck is in January and the riptide is nasty so many bodies are washing up on the shore, and the girls bear a rose tattoo on the inner thigh so show which snakehead they belong to. Alex is working the case with her two usual detectives/friends, Mercer and Mike Chapman. They get pulled away from this crime when a congressman, Ethan Leighton, gets into a fight with his mistress over their illegitimate daughter then drives drunk and crashes.

Now, usually Fairstein’s books have two crimes going on. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. This time it was just a little too muddy for me but that could be my own prejudice coming into this. I’m sorry but I see drunken congressmen with their mistresses and second families on TV all the time. I really don’t care to read about it and I dislike politics at the best of times. That aside, you know these two crimes are going to dovetail (the dust cover tells you so). Unfortunately, while it does make sense in the end, the exposure of the congressman is just too coincidental. If his drunk driving had had something to do with the shipwreck the timing wouldn’t seem so suspicious but it didn’t. Sigh.

Still, it was a good story but it had its problems besides the one I just mentioned. I didn’t think enough time was given to the shipwreck and too much to the congressman (then again that’s probably close to reality), Mike was really rude this time. Yes, he’s usually quick with the friendly jab but this seemed meaner than usual. And I really don’t like Alex’s love interest. He’s dull and the whole of the romance this time felt awkward and well, I just plain didn’t care. NYC’s history played a role again. Mike is the big history buff and the last several books have really given him time to show that off (maybe a little too much but Fairstein is obviously enjoying educating her readers about the amazing history this city has). I read it, knowing I might not like the whole politics of it, because I’ve read the entire series. It’s certainly worth getting from the library.

Spiral : The Bonds of Reasoning #9 by Author – Kyo Shirodaira & Artist – Eita Mizuno

This volume is still tackling the Kanon-arc. Kanon has taken Ayumu hostage in the school and it opens with Kanon facing off with Ayumu’s ‘big sister’ (his sister in law, the police detective who married Kiyotaka). She and the Blade children trying to take Kanon down and capture him without killing him. After an unbelievable amount of damage, that no one seeks help for, is delivered to both sides, Kanon escapes to the outside of the school.

However, his only goal is to get back inside and make Ayumu kill him because that’s what Kiyotaka predicted would happen and none of these kids seem to think they can do anything but what ‘god’ predicted. Of course this gives Ayumu the perfect opportunity to doubt himself some more and feel like he has no choice but to do what his brother wants.

In fact, the only one of them who has other ideas is Hiyono, the school news reporter who is obviously taken with Ayumu. While the Blade children have gone from trying to kill Ayumu themselves to trying to exalt him to a higher intellectual status than his brother, Hiyono argues that Ayumu didn’t think this through. She plans on stalling Kanon for ten minutes to give Ayumu time to think up a plan that doesn’t include him becoming a killer, an idea that Madoka accepted almost too passively for me, given who and what he is. Hiyono is the only one thinking out of the box and she’s willing to take her stalling tactics as far as they need to go to help Ayumu.

The rest of the volume involves all the mental twisting Ayumu, Madoka and the Blade children give the problem of how to handle Kanon. The mangaka even apologizes after the volume for having such a static series of chapters, admitting that people sitting around and talking might not be well suited for such a visual medium. Unfortunately all that talking doesn’t get us any closer to learning who the Blade children really are or what Kiyotaka wants from Ayumu.

D. Gray-Man #17 by Katsura Hoshino

This picks up with the silly Komuivitamin D zombie scenario. For some reason (possibly because he’s half insane) Komui invented a virus that turns people into ‘zombies’ and it’s highly contagious via bite. Soon almost everyone is infected and Komui has to find out who is patient zero so they can be given the antidote. Is it me or is Krory far more exciting zombified? Komui also has to figure out who used the virus and why. (Oddly the art here looks like an assistant drew the whole thing, as if this was an omake gone wild)

After this, things get deadly serious. The higher ups in the order don’t trust Allen and have him ensorcelled to keep him docile (or at least his arm). Allen and Cross have a long time where very important things are revealed about Allen, the Fourteenth and the fact that Allen could be in very big trouble. Afterwards, Allen is released only to have Cross have bad things happen to him and he ‘disappears.’ It’s obvious that the Adolph Hilter clone director has something going on behind everyone’s back with the exception of maybe Link. And is it me or did Bookman and Lavi suddenly demonstrate new psychic abilities? It’s a good volume. I’m sad I have to wait until August for the next volume.

Tags: manga, mystery

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