Saturday, May 14, 2011

Review: Green Candles by Tom De Haven and Robin Smith




Publisher: Paradox Graphic Mystery
ISBN: 9780671004675
price: 10:00
I love browsing through Paperback Swap, you never know what gems you will find. Green Candles focuses around Grace Penny a schoolteacher who is getting mysterious pictures in the mail. Each is of a green candle that is burned down more and more towards its base. Grace is terrified. When she meets private detective John Halting at her parents night she takes a chance and asks for help. John agrees though he is distracted by a side job he is doing for the Mayor: tracking his wayward son who has run off with 60,000 dollars in misappropriated funds that the Mayor has been hiding.


The case may be easier than John expects since Grace knows who is sending the photos and why. It's a former neighbor Lawrence Spangler. It seems Grace has recently uncovered some repressed memories in therapy. She remembers a night when she witnessed her neighbors murdering their foster child in a devil worshiping ceremony. Confronting these memories and now deciding to tell her story live on TV has made Grace a threat and John desperate to protect her.


There are a lot of interesting things going on in this graphic Novel. The black and white illustrations by Robin Smith give the book a noir feel. there are lots of clues inter spaced through out the book leading up to its climatic ending. The only thing that was confusing was the weird actions by John as he works the case. John is divorced but still makes time for his young daughter and has an amicable friendship with his ex-wife. John begins to have memory issues and strange imaginative visions. These really aren't explained and are a bit weird.


There is a lot of dramatic tension leading up to Grace's TV appearance. Especially the behavior of John leading up to the reveal of the culprit. I guessed the villain half way through the book which is rare for me! The ending had some great moments but then the character makes a decision that I really didn't agree with. Overall though the book had a great pulp feel to it and a solid mystery story.



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