My rating: 2 of 5 stars
This one had promise but it fell short for me. I think I only kept up with it as I needed something set in Missouri for a challenge. Jake, a freelance author and a bit down on his luck, gets the call to head home to help his sister Meg who has been first accused of killing her husband before the lawyer he hired help to have the charges dropped as her husband killed himself in an accident. However, Meg doesn’t believe he killed himself. She believes he found a cache of historically important gold coins hidden by Jesse James on their vast water-side property.
In spite of himself, Jake packs up Fred, his dog and heads to Missouri to help his sister. He’s run off the road and hospitalized before he gets there. Oddly enough the cops immediately begin to blame him for the accident (as it’s near his brother in law’s fatal car accident) then accuse him of being there to help his sister cover up her crime. Jake is perturbed by those accusations and his tattooed, highly pierced teenaged nephew, Kevin adds to the annoyance. Before long, a dead body turns up on their property and Kevin’s been jailed for drug charges and the theft of a gold coin along with his wealthier but equally ne’er do well friend. Jake has to clear everyone’s name and find out who killed his brother in law.
Like I said, it had potential but some of the crime details really felt like the author’s only research was to watch cop dramas. Once the dead body shows up, he and his sister are immediately charged with the murder. Detectives don’t immediately do that because it starts a clock. Make them persons of interest yes, interview them yes but arrest them without collecting any evidence, unlikely.
Many other reviews have commented on the fact that there are a ton of bathroom stops in this and the fact he feeds his dog nothing but McDonald’s and beer (which yes doesn’t sit well with me either). It’s not helped that Meg and Kevin are both utterly unlikeable. For instance, she’s constantly accusing Jake of not liking his nephew yet he’s never said that. This one just didn’t hold my interest.
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Cycle of the Werewolf by Stephen King
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I’ve wanted to read this one for a very long time. I’m not even sure how I let this small piece of vintage Stephen King slip past me for so long. The Cycle of the Werewolf is a series of twelve interlocking flash fiction segments, one for each full moon of the year. It’s also well illustrated by Berni Wrightson. Like so many of King’s stories, it’s set in Maine and a werewolf has come to town. For the first half we see him through the eyes of his victims.
Once July rolls around, we meet a wheelchair bounded young man, Marty, who survives the attack. Marty will be pivotal in stopping the werewolf provided he lives long enough.
This is a fun anthology. Keeping in mind though it was written in the early 80s so some of it would be considered very politically incorrect these days. There is one thing off with the art, it sort of precedes the text spoiling the twists. The art itself is fantastic though. It’s classic King and well worth reading.
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