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DarkEcho Horror
deccoclock by Rick Berry
Book Review

Cold Blue Midnight
Ed Gorman
Leisure/ 342 pp./ $4.99
ISBN 0-8439-4417-X

The best pulp fiction was colorful, stocked with characters who were memorable (if not completely multidimensional), possessed fast-paced plotting and narrative, and offered distinct clarity of auctorial observation. No, it wasn't dissertation material, but it was a damned good read. Ed Gorman's Cold Blue Midnight combines the best of pulp and well-crafted writing and come up, not surprisingly with a damned good read.

Pampered richboy Peter is executed after ax-murdering several women. His richer-than-God mom, Evelyn, blames her son's proclivity for evil on his ex-wife, Jill, and vows revenge. Six years after Peter's death, Jill, now a successful photographer, notices a man in a blue Volvo watching her. As the lovely ex-wife of a serial killer, Jill's reporter-wary as it is, but this time she finds herself framed on a murder charge -- thanks to Evelyn who has hired a pair of hit men to set Jill up. Luckily Jill's cop ex-boyfriend decides to reestablish their relationship just in time to help her out. Add to this pulpy thriller the kind of complications that make it fun as well as suspenseful -- a girl PI prone to disguises; a major relationship problem between the homosexual hit men; an advantageous witness with an eating disorder; Peter's only decent relation, his sister Doris -- and you come up with a fast-paced slice of psycho-killer fun you can zip through with delight.

Fun? Brutal murders -- fun? Gorman is a superb storyteller. He spins this yarn with glee; although he's more than proven he's capable elsewhere, in this one he's not out to assault the senses too strongly, delve psychological depths, or expose societal deficiencies -- just give us a treat. Life's not all green vegetables, granola, and no fat yogurt. Once in awhile you need ice cream -- Gorman gives you get a double scoop with hot fudge, nuts, whipped cream, and a cherry on top. A perfect and delicious end-of-summer confection. -- Paula Guran

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Copyright © 2002 Paula Guran. All Rights Reserved.