Thursday, March 12, 2015

New Review of Black Centipede Confidential

5.0 out of 5 stars The Black Centipede returns for another epic adventure in Pulp Noir!, March 11, 2015
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This review is from: Black Centipede Confidential (Kindle Edition)
Book Review: Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Black Centipede Confidential: Book Two of the MORIARTY, LORD OF THE VAMPIRES Trilogy

NOTICE: Any spoilers are totally unintended.
The book opens with the notice in the paper of Sherlock Holmes. His death date is given as November 13, 1933.

Next, the Centipede is involved in preventing a bank robbery, said to be the gang of Public Enemy #1, John Dillinger. Unfortunately, the same identifying discrepancies that followed the gunning down of Dillinger outside a Chicago theater on July 22, 1934 apply here. Neither the Centipede nor his companion, Detective Lieutenant Stan Bartowski, is exactly certain that Dillinger is even in Zenith, much less the bank.

As the action of the bank robbery winds down, the Centipede notices the strange thin man with the unusual eyes. He recalls that witnesses claimed the robbers carried a coffin into the bank. Now the sun has set, and their Vampire overlord is free to exact his own acts of vengeance. The old man turns out to be Professor Moriarty, saved from death at Reichenbach Falls by being turned into the undead. Even in his current state, Moriarty is a planner, a Napoleon of Crime, a great spider in the center of a web of criminal activity.

And with this opening scene, Chuck Miller returns us to the world of The Black Centipede, a world where time and events do not necessarily follow real life or the established worlds of fiction. There are familiar faces, friends and enemies:

Amelia Earhart
Bloody Mary Jane Gallows
The Stiff
Baron Samedi
William Randolph Hearst
Doctor Unknown
Lester Dent
Walter Gibson

Then there are the new characters that pop up now and then throughout this fierce battle:

Bela Lugosi
Resurrection Mary
Patience and Prudence, professional fixers.
Al Capone
John Dillinger, (fighting on the side of the Black Centipede!)
Scott Fitzgerald, author
Anonymoushka, a faceless but deadly woman
Herbert West, reanimator
The Bell Witch
The Loch Ness Monster

The battle ranges from the rooftops of Zenith City, to the red light district, and to the network of tunnels underground. Moriarty is after a certain Analytical Engine, confident that it has been stored somewhere in Chicago. Could it be in Al Capone’s famed secret vault? Or is the secret and scope of the Engine so great that it occupies much greater space? Or maybe much, much less space?

The action never even slows down as Chuck Miller frantically paints prose with both hands, with brushes of pulp, horror, and noir. When the time comes for him to sign the finished work, you still might not be sure who is on who’s side. But that is pure Chuck Miller. The book is a joy to read and will keep the reader guessing, and pressing on, unable to put the book down lest you miss something!

It is no argument that this book deserves five out of five stars! Thanks, Chuck, for the exhilarating wild ride! Looking forward to your next project!

Quoth the Raven…
Thanks, Raven! Glad you liked it!