Friday, 19 February 2016

Red Iron Nights (sixth novel in the Garrett P.I. series)

(Originally posted on Friday, 12 March 2010)

When I was looking for this book I found out that this and the next book in the Garrett series had not been reprinted, even though the 8th book had already been reprinted. I wanted to read the whole series in an appropriate order, so I bought this book translated to my native language. The cover is pretty good, except that Garrett looks older than he is and his index finger is ridiculously short. Please compare it with the original cover.

My rating: 6/10 (low re-reading value)
Please read my post from April 2009 to find out about my rating.
Please read my post from May 2009 to learn about Glen Cook’s style of writing.

What’s good:
1. Glen Cook’s style of writing, but I must admit that it is weaker than usual. As always this book was a fast-read and I didn’t have to force myself to keep on reading even though I saw some obvious problems.
2. Introduction of Belinda Contague – a daughter of Chodo Contague.

What’s bad:
1. The plot is about a psychopath – a serial killer who cruelly kills women. I don’t like books (or films) about psychopaths, especially serial killers.
2. The plot becomes kind of repetitive and I am not talking about subsequent murders. In one moment I thought to myself: “What? This happened again? Oh, come on!”
3. There is not so much fighting.
4. There is very little good humour. I realised this fact much, much later and it struck me like a lightning. The first three books in the Garrett series were almost a comedy. Fourth had some less humour, because it was darker, but it was probably the best book in the whole series. The next book had the feeling of doom coming on everybody and that low mood is still present in this book. There is even less humour and it's not as fresh and light as in the first three books.
5. The action at the end of the book is somewhat disappointing.
6. Some characters don’t behave the way they used to. Garrett himself is not the same Garrett we know from the first four books. I know that this is true in real life: people change. Some more radically than others. But from my point of view all the characters in the Garrett series change for the worse. Even Garrett.

Overall the whole book was a disappointment to me. I was hoping that after Dread Brass Shadows the series will again reach the heights of the first four novels. Sadly it is not the case here. This book is even weaker. Maybe the translation was not so good, but it doesn’t explain the main issues I had with this book. Interestingly this book was still kind of gripping and I can’t explain it. Overall it’s a little more than average and its re-reading value is low.


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