Friday, January 18, 2019

Review: Black Mountain

Black Mountain Black Mountain by Laird Barron
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When two mutilated bodies of local criminals are found, signs point to a hired killer called The Croatoan. But the Croatoan has been dead for years, right? That's what Isaiah Coleridge wants to find out...

Laird Barron jumped nearly to the top of my favorite authors list in 2017. When this popped up on Netgalley, I had to read it.

Black Mountain continues the story of Isaiah Coleridge, part Maori former hitman trying to leave the killing behind. As Coleridge plays sleuth, his violent nature stares him in the face again and again. In this volume, Coleridge tries to find the perpetrator of two murders and winds up with much more on his hands.

Laird Barron's writing is as great as ever, part Chandler, part Thompson, part Ellroy, and even some Roger Zelazny in the mix, equally adept at poetic descriptions and stark violence. I had no idea who the killer was for most of the book. I was too busy trying to piece things together along with Isaiah and Lionel.

For part of the book, I thought Isaiah was a little too capable and the book meandered a bit. Then the rug got yanked out from under me and I wolfed down what was left in one long ass-numbing sitting. The Croatoan wound up being far more interesting than your run of the mill serial killers. The book flirted with cosmic horror a bit at times. Maybe the Children of Old Leech will be mentioned in the next one?

While I love his brand of horror, sometimes you just want to see bad guys get got. Laird Barron delivers the goods here. Four out of five stars.

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