did just a little bit more tonight, cuz it's gotten under my skin. this year has been a good year for books so far, lots of 4 Star picks. this feels something like another one. to be continued, tomorrah!
geez. the narrator's predicament is now officially giving me the willies, heading for the heebie-jeebies. imagine little things happening in your life that are clearly designed--by some hidden presence, probably calculating and malevolent--to show you that nothing you did, do, or will do, is private. forget "who watches the watchers?"...who the hell is watching Jeremy O'Keefe?!
entertaining, and unsettling, so far--which seems to be what it's designed for. Jeremy O'Keefe is back in New York after spending an extended portion of his life across the pond, at Oxford. it's clear he's left something messy behind in Britain, but it's difficult to tell this early if the creepy stuff starting to infect his renewed New York existence is something dragged along from elsewhere. it's clear he's either having a mental breakdown, with memory lapses and vague paraboia as the first symptoms...or someone's screwing with him, via technology and surveillance. I'm guessing the latter, but who knows where this is going. anyway, I'm hooked, so that's a good sign after a twitchy first 40 pages. funny that the main character is possibly getting caught up in his own personal "conspiracy thriller", and yet is a film historian--among other things--with deep thoughts about both The Conversation, and The Lives Of Others--two great films, but not films that you want to eventually have reminding you of your own life! cool--and maybe a strange hint, early on--to see those films mentioned.
any Thriller that deals with the consequences of this Surveillance Culture we're trapped in has my attention. and may it also be thrilling, of course.
things suddenly got very tense for our hero Innes--brazenly following someone, right into occupied Belgium, on the fly, without papers or a proper cover ID and story, all to unearth the truth behind Faust, Faust's true intent. helped by a priest risking his own neck to get Innes (Lazarus) linked back up with his old spy network, the road leads to Antwerp... and veteran spy Ramble. turns out she and Innes have an interesting history.
I love this book. must keep the eyes peeled for more spy-jinx set during World War One.
I'm happy--it's a terrific read, with an atypical plot, and feel, compared to most wartime espionage fiction. it's not action-oriented, but that hasn't mattered at all. I feel for Innes; he really has qualms about spying within his own ranks. he'd rather be back in occupied Belgium, sticking it to the enemy. at least being honest has gotten him into trouble and got him shuttled off to the Netherlands...still poking at internal matters, though, not thrilled with his lot in life. bonus: there's a bit of a Murder Mystery running!
when asked by Haig on horseback if the Suicide Club is ready for action, Innes lies and says "Yes.". meanwhile, Ramble--betrayed and on the run due to some kind of leak in the Belgium network--finds out that the chief German interrogator/torturer of Ramble's captured compatriots is like her, a woman. "Not like me," says Ramble. so, some great female characters emerging in this World War One spy epic...and plenty of people who may not be what they seem; may Innes sniff them out before it all dooms the Suicide Club.
it's pretty cool so far! I like Innes, especially his scruples, his careful reads of people around him; that should help him, since he's been assigned to not only join 'The Suicide Club', but also, spy on it. this special new branch of Military Intelligence may have secrets, secrets resulting in unreliable intel. this is an interesting premise...a spy recalled from his success as an agent in an Occupied country, and reluctantly tasked to infiltrate a network of his own people. hmmm. I like it. and, no idea where this is headed. first, my big love for Suicide Squad (gonna do the Rebirth graphic novel very soon...I miss Deadshot too much, it's been too long), and now I'm hangin' with the Suicide Club. wonder who can't be trusted (that's a familiar thought, with these teams...).
this is the one I have been waiting for...Starfire's nefarious sister, and the original Omega Men! who knows...maybe Adrian Chase appears this early too...
this is exactly what I wanted right now from a graphic novel--nothing too deep or cerebral, nothing that redefined the form, but I knew that Milligan would still manage to get away with some weird, atypical shit when it comes to following the superhero formula...or not. he has not topped my Milligan favorite--the Human Target stuff--when it comes to his superhero stints, but Human Target was part of the Vertigo line, and so there would be more freedom there to break rules and upset the established order, without worrying about shaking the foundations of an entire super-people universe. Milligan's Batman stories, as collected in Dark Knight, Dark City, also probably outrank this Elektra material--again, breaking a few rules in terms of strange, often supernatural foes for Batman, plus an atypical Riddler story that works REALLY well! Infinity Inc. shows that Milligan maybe should have done more teen/team-based books; too bad the characters didn't have better powers, but again, great team chemistry.
then it's mainly non-superhero Milligan weirdness, so I'll leave that alone, and just say that maybe this isn't where Frank Miller would ever take Elektra, but it's not so far away. she kills when necessary, she works through missing Daredevil--I liked his three-part guest-appearance here--and she fights like the samurai she is. the art will likely mean this book gets a full extra star in my final Rating--damn she look good!--and Milligan even sneaks in his preoccupation with gender roles and gender rules broken, by turning a man into a woman, and giving this new lady a boyfriend, and marriage(!) at breakneck speed. I guess she likes her new self--or it's just a sign that Milligan rushed things a tad as he exited this series; yes, all I have left is the section written by Larry Hama. I don't know his trademarks the way I know Milligan's but it looks like Wolverine's back, Shang-Chi too, Kingpin, and a friend gone villainous. so, goodbye Milligan...but I'm excited for the home stretch. more Elektra!
Elektra: The Complete Collection, by Peter Milligan, Larry Hama, & Mike Deodato Jr. (copyright 2017 (collection of material originally published in magazine form); quote is from page 22 of the graphic novel published by Marvel Worldwide Inc.).
a lot of fun, partly due to that Milligan weirdness, that doesn't just go away merely because he's writing a trad superhero series instead of one of his unclassifiable gonzo efforts. guest-stars so far: Wolverine, Doctor Strange, Stick...and it looks like I get Daredevil later, which is no surprise. the more impressive villains have been: Bullseye (of course), Taskmaster (the man with the "photographic reflexes" simply has to fight like Daredevil to throw Elektra off her game), and Blacklash (used in a bizarrely emotional subplot). the new mystery-villain orchestrating much of what has gone one: The Architect. I know Milligan steps aside and there's a different writer in the back half--Larry Hama--but overall, I have a feeling that the tone of this is set, pretty much. art is flashy, sexy, energetic; if this is not considered a "classic" then, well, at least I've been entertained.
Elektra next, for sure (honest, Elektra!--please don't sai at me), and then this promising Spy tale set during World War One.
holy moley. deep breaths. head..bending...back to normal shape...nerves...re-learning...not to jangle...soooo creepy, soooo clever, soooo gooooood...moving on...to next book...after...recovery time.
seriously, this is a great pick for Mystery--and Horror--fans, who can handle the hardcore stuff. almost certainly going to stand as one of my fave books--certainly Crime books--of my reading year. Bravo--shiver, shiver--Bravo!