Saturday 29 October 2011

Coffin Hop Book Review: Symphony of Blood

Today for Coffin Hop I offer up a delcious book review of the dark and deadly...

My Review of Symphony of Blood: A Hank Mondale Supernatural Case

The novel Symphony of Blood by Adam Pepper is a fascinating mix of hard-boiled detective novel and paranormal thriller. It melds two genres in an excellent fast paced style that keeps you turning the page.

Hank Mondale is a down-on-his-luck private investigator who drinks too much and gambles too much. In need of some quick cash he takes a new case where the rich client has an unusual problem: a monster is trying to kill his daughter. Hank doesn’t believe in monsters, but takes the case anyway, only to find the facts leading him into the unknown.

Symphony of Blood was a chilling delight to read. The book is basically divided into three parts, with parts one and three telling the story from Hank’s point of view. These sections are an old school, hard-boiled mystery story, unfolding Hank’s investigation slowly, and playing out the tension before we return to his voice for the conclusion. Both parts are well told, have nice flow with gritty atmosphere and substance, engaging characters, and I enjoyed what I read. But it was the second part of the novel that truly excelled for me, when the author unexpectedly switched points of view and told the story through the killer/monster’s eyes. Here, the story is woven from an alien perspective and draws the reader in with fascination, repulsion and even sympathy. Secrets hinted at are now revealed and the subtle contrasts and truths give depth to the plot. I adored this section of the novel and the sudden change between characters was seamless.

I did have some small disappointment with the ending, though. It wasn’t that it was badly written or a cheat, and it wrapped up all the threads conclusively, but it just felt a bit detached to me. I think I would have liked something a bit less restrained. Still, I can happily recommend Symphony of Blood as a great book.

Where you can find Symphony of Blood:


Sheila Deeth said...

Sounds intriguingly different. Nice review.

Anonymous said...

Good review...I especially appreciate the comments regarding the ending. As a fan of Stephen King, I admit sometimes his endings make me want to feed the book to my dog. I want an ending to take me as much as everything that lead up to it.

Thanks for posting it!


Kraftmatic Adjustable Blog
#8 on the Coffin Hop

A. F. Stewart said...

Thanks, Sheila.

A. F. Stewart said...

I don't think the ending of this book warrants feeding to the dog, Ash, but I have read a few books like that. Thanks for stopping by.

Julie Jansen said...

I'd never heard of Adam Pepper. I enjoyed the review and wish you a very Happy Halloween!

robertswilson said...

Sounds interesting. I've seen this one somewhere before. I'll have to add it to my wish list.

A. F. Stewart said...

I hadn't heard of him either, Julie, until he asked me to review the book. I find all sorts of interesting books and authors through my reviews.

A. F. Stewart said...

The book's on Smashwords and Goodreads, Robert, that's may be where you ran across it, or possibly on another blog. I believe there have been quite a few reviews and posts about the book.

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