Rating: 4 1/2 stars (Spotlight Review)
Trying to maintain a low profile after almost—unwittingly—triggering a war of apocalyptic proportions between heaven and hell, soul collector Sam Thornton just wants to do his job and stay out of the spotlight for a while. Unfortunately for Sam, the spotlight plans to stay trained on him for a little while longer.
After trudging through the dangerous South American jungle for what seems like forever, Sam finally spots his target—Pablo Varela, one of the world’s most fearsome and dangerous drug lords.
There’s only one problem: Varela is already dead and his soul harvested. The only thing remaining is a note to Sam etched into Varela’s chest left by an old acquaintance, and fellow collector, Danny Young.
Sam’s effort to get to the bottom of Danny’s unforgivable treachery leads him on a methodical scavenger hunt. Accompanied by the reseeded soul of a gruff, but loveable Mafioso, Sam traverses miles of desert that takes him across borders, as well as ethical and legal boundaries, kicking up unfathomable chaos in the process.
In between assaults by avenging angels, terrifying men made of the creepiest crawlies, and other inhuman things that go bump in the night, Sam must confront a few of his own personal skeletons in an effort to clear his name, restore balance, and—oh yeah—save the lives of millions of people. But hey, no pressure.
Following on the heels of his fantastic debut Dead Harvest, the first book in the Collector series, Chris Holm had his work cut out for him. However, saying he hit a homerun with The Wrong Goodbye would be an understatement. He absolutely crushed it.
The author’s ability to delve into the most random, or to expound on the basic and make it surreal is probably one of the most fascinating things about reading him. You never knowing what kinds of random crazy Holm will dish out next, but whatever it is, you’ll eat up with a spoon and ask for seconds. Demon drug dens? Sure. Skimming souls? Fine. A mangy, cloven-hooved, cyclopean Rottweiler-esque demon dressed in leather? Yes, please!
Riding on an intricately woven plot, filled with witty, flawlessly executed dialog, Holm’s sophomore effort proves that he’s no-one hit wonder, but rather a true contender.
With his amazing talent for writing and limitless genius for storytelling, readers are guaranteed a wild ride to places that thankfully only exist in the clever mind of Chris F. Holm.
Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Angry Robot; Original edition (September 25, 2012)