Monday, 17 December 2012

Dead Harvest

by Chris F. Holm
Urban fantasy
Angry Robot; Original edition 2012
384 pages – 8.99 $

En Français ici

Why this book 

I've met Chris F. Holm at the QuebeCrime festival and I immediately liked his humor and humility as an author. He wondered what he was doing in the middle of so many great writers of thrillers and other crime fiction. His first book Dead Harvest was released in February, the second The Wrong Goodbye in October. I did not know his books, but he was so nice that I wanted to encourage him by buying his first novel.


Meet Sam Thornton. He collects souls.

Sam’s job is to collect the souls of the damned, and ensure they are dispatched to the appropriate destination. But when he’s sent to collect the soul of a young woman he believes to be innocent of the horrific crime that’s doomed her to Hell, he says something no Collector has ever said before.


What I think of it 

I loved it! The black humor sprinkled over the story, the story itself and the villain (collector of souls) that you come to love. Is there more anti-hero than a collector of souls? But it works! It's fast-paced, a lot of action, twists, doubt (is the girl really innocent?). When starting the book, I was afraid that it would be too preachy, too religious - good versus evil and the whole shebang. But not at all, there are bad guys in angels and good guy in demons, all of which is a matter of choice.

About the story. I'm not a big reader - or was not until that book - of urban fantasy and I've never read anything about a collector of soul who investigates and it's brilliant. Like in George R. R. Martin I find interesting that good or evil is a matter of choice. The characters can choose to do right or not.

The tone of the book is also something you'll soon learn to love. It's cynic, funny and witty. There are some dialogues in the book which made me burst out laughing - which is not a good thing when you're reading next to someone sleeping!

Let's be brief

I highly recommend it for those who love thrillers and urban fantasy, because it's a perfect mix of those genres. One of the best book I've read this year. I now know why he was invited to QuebeCrime Festival: because he truly is one great author!

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