Hail, Hail, the Gang's All Here!
Jimmy Doyle and his cohorts are back for another round of noir supernatural mystery in Dan Wickline's second Lucius Fogg novel, Malicious Intent. Ernie, Ryan, Patches, Emma, and of course, "Sea Bass" are all back for more 1950s action as the lines between the real world and the supernatural world are blurred by the sudden appearance of Kieran Drake, an old nemesis of Lucius Fogg.
Wickline provides another winner of a mystery, this time surrounding Fogg and his as of yet undisclosed past. We find out exactly why it is that Lucius Fogg has not left his house in 65 years and why he will never be able to leave it. We find out that he did, at one time, have a love interest (of sorts). We find out that Ariel was not the first caretaker that Fogg had in his house. We find out that Fogg has some secrets that are too powerful for anyone to know ... secrets hidden in his house ... a house that harbors some very unique, very strange, and very other dimensional aspects (such as a random room that can appear anywhere in the house; a room that is a warehouse larger than some on the waterfront; and more rooms and halls that can possibly fit inside of a house that size - think TARDIS, for those Doctor Who fans out there).
An interesting tidbit was that when Doyle and Sea Bass went to the newspaper to follow up on a potential clue, a couple of names of the reporters stuck out to me - "Batson" and "Kirby." Batson, for comic fans was the last name of Billy Batson, a/k/a Shazam! And Kirby, well, I think anyone who's ever read comics knows about the "King," who created the Newsboy Legion back in the day. Not sure if it was Wickline's intention to have those recognizable names or pure coincidence, but I personally would like to think it was a nice nod to them.
The one problem I did have with this book was with the actual printing of the book itself, not with the plot or actual writing. I was reading along and as I finished chapter 26 and started chapter 27, I noticed that the 27 opened exactly the same way that 26 opened. And the more I read, the more I thought to myself, "Didn't this just happen?" So I went back and started comparing the paragraphs and pages of chapter 26 with chapter 27 and discovered they were exactly identical! So I went on to read chapter 28, but immediately realized there was a jump here - meaning that somehow my copy of Malicious Intent did not have a proper chapter 27 - so whatever material was meant to be there, I did not get - instead, I simply go a repeat of chapter 26 and completely missed out on the real chapter 27 (which I'm guessing, based on later chapters, that chapter 27 gave the inside scoop on what the first gem held....).
However, that one flub did not take away from my thorough enjoyment of the story, and I am definitely looking forward to reading the third (but hopefully not the last!) book in this series.
8 seductive sirens out of 10 for having the guts to tell a great story with love, loss, vampires, werewolves, sorcerers, and a gumshoe detective willing to sacrifice everything to do what's right!