- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 631 KB
- Print Length: 224 pages
- Publisher: Headhunter Holdings Ltd.; 1 edition (9 July 2012)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B008K9E752
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #423,591 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Red Snow (SPECIAL X THRILLER Book 13) Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
I am a huge fan of Michael Slade's Special X series of books. One of the things that kept me interested in the series as it progressed was that no characted seemed safe. Over the years Slade has put these mounties through the ringer. Some have died. Some have come through horrifically scarred either physically or mentally. I remember reading the end of his first novel, Headhunter, and being blown away by the last minute reveal, and immediately craving more. That particular story wasn't fully resolved until five books later. I also loved the history that was layered into the present day plot, and into the fantasy lives of the serial killers hunted by the mounties of Special X. And since Special X deals with crimes reaching outside of Canada I was treated to stories with roots in Jack The Ripper, Rorke's Drift, World War 2, Romans and Picts.
So now we have Red Snow, where a villain known as Mephisto, who has thumbed his nose at Special X twice before, intends to avenge himself upon the mounties during the winter olympics being held in Canada. This time he has brought along a group of merceneries, led by Stopwatch, another villain who has slipped by. Stopwatch's mission is to kill all of the people who saw Mephisto's face during the events of Death's Door.
Personally I was really disappointed by this story. It's Slade, but it's Slade-light. All of the things I loved are there but it seems watered down. It feels like it has been abreviated. Red Snow is filled with major events for the regular characters. In fact seven of them are killed off. One of them is the girlfriend of Robert Declerq, one of the main characters, who barely registers the fact that his friends are being killed around him. In fact virtually no-one seems to show any emotion at all.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
It's December 2009 and the town of Whistler, B.C., is hosting the Olympic trials in advance of the 2010 Winter Games. The place--an idyllic, remote mountain village--is rapidly filling with egotistical athletes, hangers-on, media folks, golddiggers, corporate sponsorship people, and the curious. And a megalomaniacal psychotic killer known as Mephisto has come with his army of Icemen to disrupt and destroy with a diabolical revenge plan to kill 90% of the world's population. It's a little like Agatha Christie meets Alistair MacLean, but the resulting body count would have shocked both authors.
Head of security for the games is Chief Superintendent Robert DeClercq of Special X, the Special External Division of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), otherwise known as the Mounties. In the past, DeClercq barely survived a couple encounters with the madman Mephisto. Unfortunately, Mephisto's elaborate new plan includes assassinating everyone connected to Robert who can ID him. The snow really does run red in Whistler as Mephisto's ingenious, horrifying Dr. Phibes-like killing gadgets begin to take their toll. Before the end of the "Going for the Gold" event at the El Dorado Resort, Robert will have lost friends and loved ones and face the potential annihilation of billions of innocent people. As Mephisto's mercenaries isolate the already remote village by all too easily cutting off roads and power during a raging snowstorm, the terrorist plot will be set into motion.
The pseudonymous Michael Slade (HEADHUNTER, GHOUL, BED OF NAILS, SWASTIKA, KAMIKAZE) has made an industry of spinning tales with wildly disparate tidbits of historical information and research and turning them into taught, unpredictable thrillers pitting Special X Mounties against some of the most despicable characters ever created. RED SNOW, while in heft a much breezier, quicker-moving version of these thrillers, delivers a high body count, tons of entertaining deadly scrapes for characters to get into and, only occasionally, out of, and a setting that's eerily familiar to anyone who watched the Vancouver Winter Games. Only an insider who knows the ins and outs of the mountain resort could have used the setting so effectively in so few pages. As befitting the history of the Mounties, there's a Wild West quality to the action that could seem a little comic-bookish but mostly doesn't. As for the familiar cast, be prepared--for no one is safe.
As usual, the arcane knowledge and asides referred to in the novel are part of the attraction, leading readers from Alpine sports to the conquistadors' search for El Dorado and the procedure for shrinking human heads, for instance. Given the "going for the gold" anthem of the Vancouver Games, all the golden references (including allusions to Goldfinger, natch) seem livelier given Slade's patented sardonic narrative voice. Though skimping on background and deep motivation, Slade still manages to link this new chapter of the Special X canon to previous outings, without weighing it down in long info dumps--rather a feat in itself, considering the large cast of recurring characters and their complex connections. And to help make this short-but-sharp thriller truly effective, Slade serves up a full helping of that evil "Slade-of-hand" misdirection. Following previous tradition, there is a bibliography at the rear to help you "read more about it," in case some of those unusual references to bizarre historical events pique your interest.
RED SNOW might not quite stand up to some of the more intricate earlier Special X novels if you revere those serpentine, more expositional efforts, but its single-minded leanness may just be a virtue if the ease with which one can describe it as a "page-turner" is any indication. Call it a bulls-eye for Michael Slade.
(A version of this review was previously published at Chizine.com)
--W.D. Gagliani, author of Savage Nights
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