Symphony of Blood, A Hank Mondale Supernatural Case by Adam Pepper
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Hank Mondale, a down-on-his luck private investigator, has dug himself a substantial hole between his alcoholism and gambling addiction. He can't pay his kleptomaniac secretary, is about to get evicted from his office building, not to mention the hired muscle breathing down his neck from his overdue losses on basketball games.
A new case seems to practically fall into his lap at just the right time, backed by a secretive wealthy client. Hank is not about to blow his chance to pay off his debts with one job, and agrees to meet with the client to find out more details. Once he realizes it's a very rich real estate mogul and his spoiled, drugged-out daughter with wild claims, he tries to back out. But he instead finds himself on a case that seems to tie-in with several missing persons and two odd homicides....
I have to admit, this is not the type of book I normally read. After reading just the first 10% of the book, I was nearly ready to put it down from there. It's well written, and the characters are detailed... but I didn't find myself liking the main character, Hank. Now, Liking a character is not a requirement for enjoying a book, but it helps. I couldn't identify with his gambling addiction, and I have demons from growing up regarding relatives and alcoholism... and the entire beginning of the book is Hank's personal train wreck of a life. I just plain didn't want to read that part. I did, and I am glad because once it pushed through that and actually seem to pick up the story it was much more interesting.
At one point in the story, the point of view changes, and I actually found that part of the story to be the best and most interesting to me. The innocence Adam Pepper writes into essentially a "monstrous" character was wonderful. I think "Symphony" as it is later named was probably my favorite character out of the book. I found myself rooting for the monster. The other characters were all so damaged and ruthless (except Hank- but I already explained my problems with him) I was basically ready for them all to die and the monster's hands so I could be done with the book. It was decent... I likely will not read it again. If someone likes a darker story with gritty, damaged characters and a horror/supernatural element- then I would recommend they try this book out. But it if's already not your cup of tea, this book won't change your mind about that.
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