RARA-AVIS: Angry Moon

Mark Sullivan (AnonymeInc@webtv.net)
Mon, 30 Aug 1999 13:55:43 -0400 (EDT)

Some time ago, I wrote in praise of Terrill Lankford's Shooters. I finally got around to reading his second book, Angry Moon. It's at least as good as the first.

Angry Moon starts off as a very satisfying "assassin thinking better of his career choice" story. Needless to say, he has to make one last hit. Like Grosse Pointe Blank, it starts with the iffy premise that someone sociopathic enough to become a highly successful hit man would have enough of a conscience to have this kind of crisis of faith, but that's one of those disbeliefs fans willingly suspend when reading this genre. Like John Woo/Chow Yun Fat's The Killer the hit man's employers do not intend to let their contractor quit the business. And, of course, the last hit is on the man who taught our anti-hero everything he knows. So far, we have the making's of a very good hit man thriller.

As in Shooters, Terrill focuses on a suspect hero, but makes him sympathetic by pitting him against worse creatures, without his code of honor. And the first half is a very good thriller, full of very specific detail to led verisimilitude, kind of like Stark's Parker novels. That believability built on concrete detail becomes crucial when things begin to get a bit surreal. Our anti-hero begins to suspect his own sanity when he finds it very hard to kill his mentor, who is turning the whole thing into a game of cat and mouse. I don't want to give any more away, but suffice it to say Terrill has constructed the book beautifully to get readers to stretch the bounds of their disbelief.

Highly recommended.


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