Dance of Death


Preston and Cloud's latest entry--the second in a series? the middle of a trilogy? The book pits the evil brother Diogenes against the good brother Aloysius to the latter's detriment. The book ends with the promise of a sequel, so the plot uniting this series must be all worked out. I hope that it is better overall than this first entry in the series which raises far too many questions and provides no answers.

Diogenes Pendergast has saved his brother from a fiendish Italian Count who, using Poe as his model, walled Aloysius up in a wall in the dungeons of his villa in Tuscany. (Talk about melodrama!) He has done so to insure that Aloysius is alive and well to see Diogenes commit "the perfect crime." Turns out that the perfect crime is directed at Aloysius because Diogenes hates him so much.

And on and on and on. This melodrama plays itself out in Snidely Whiplash fashion (think Perils of Pauline and you won't be much off-track--pardon the pun). Indeed, the climax of the piece takes place as the hero and heroine are threatened by a soon-to-arrive train at New York's "Iron Clock."

What's here is interesting. The writing is, as usual, sloppy without being truly dreadful. Too much detail here, too little there, long and pointless scenes all over the place, author's being coyly self-referential and trying to show their erudition--all rather crudely done. However, those points aside, the book is fun for an evening's read and quickly done with.

Of these authors my favorite book is still Thunderhead which, while suffering from some of these effects, seems to be much cleaner and more tightly plotted. I'd give this book a three out of five and recommend reading only if you're short on your current reading list.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on August 15, 2005 9:18 AM.

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