I’m sure you all remember a few months ago when I read Chris F. Holm’s first The Collector book, Dead Harvest. Even if you don’t that’s okay. I’ll pretend to wait impatiently while you go read my review. Anyway, I really liked that book and kind of got all gushy about the cover. That cover kind of had nothing on this one BUT I’M NOT HERE TO TALK ABOUT THE COVER TODAY. No, really.
If you remember (and even if you don’t, I really don’t care [just kidding, love you guys!]) I liked Holm’s main character Sam Thornton well enough, but there were tiny things that knocked it down from a five star book to just above 4. 4.1, I think? [runs to check] Yes, 4.1. Well! You’ll all be thrilled to know, I’m sure, that I did Mandy’s Review Rubric on The Wrong Goodbye last night and it scored an amazing FOUR POINT SEVEN stars! That’s almost five stars, guys, and is definitely nothing to sneeze at!
I liked Sam even more this time than I did last time (which is saying something, because he was pretty cool to begin with), but what really made this book exceptional were the new characters and situations. Without giving too very much of the plot away, there’s a road trip with the body of Abe Frohman (if you don’t know who the Sausage King of Chicago is, I really don’t want to be your friend anymore), junkie demons, some creepy as hell non-aligned creatures and of course references to both the apocrypha and pop-culture.
I giggled, I was uncomfortable, I gasped (in what I hope were all the appropriate places) and I turned the last page (figuratively, dur – it’s an ebook, don’t you know me by now?) with a slight feeling of sadness. I started 3 other books yesterday after finishing this one, and not one of them was able to hold my attention. It’s kind of win:lose – I loved this, but now nothing else seems to be worth reading. [sigh]
Shortly after my review of Dead Harvest, I had a twitter conversation with Mr Holm where he said he hoped things would work themselves out better in this book (I’m totally paraphrasing because I’m too lazy to scroll back through two months of tweets, c’mon), and I can assure both you (my lovely readers) and him that the things that bothered me about the first book have pretty much disappeared in this second volume.
You don’t necessarily have to have read Dead Harvest to follow the events of The Wrong Goodbye, but if you’re a completist like me, you’ll want to anyway. There are lovely little in-jokes in this one that you won’t get if you haven’t read the first, but again – not necessary for enjoyment.
If you’re into pulpy noir-ish prose and think adding fantastic elements to that is a great idea, you’ll love these books. If you HATE that kind of stuff, you probably won’t – but don’t blame me, because I totally warned you.
The Wrong Goodbye will be out Sept. 25 in the US and Oct. 4 in the UK. Pricing and sales information can be found over at Angry Robot (the lovely folks over there were kind enough to provide me with this eARC). You can find Mr Holm on twitter and his blog. Like most of the Angry Robot authors, he’s pretty awesome about interacting and answering questions. I love that!
So…what are you waiting for? Go pre-order this book, already.
Post Script – Kind of weird because I was just discussing this album with a few different people the other day – but a little after halfway through, I started singing this song to myself. Anyway, I think it goes well with this book: