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Brother Bones-Tapestry of Blood Paperback – May 22, 2014
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Brother Bones, once an underworld killer named Tommy Bonello, is the undead protector of Cape Noire. Guided by the ghost of his last victim, and chauffeured around by Bobby Crandell, the otherworldly avenger makes people pay for the shedding of innocent blood…
In this new volume of Brother Bones stories, the good Captain has once again served up the type of fiction that would get him a Michelin star if he were a chef instead of a writer! The book contains a short story and four novellas staring his unique Pulp Fiction hero.
In “The Butcher’s Festival” Brother Bones is joined by the mysterious Pulpstress, in disguise as bounty hunter Cody Randell. She has come to town looking for crime boss Pete Malone. Meanwhile, the undead avenger is alerted by his spirit guide to bloodshed by a man known as the Butcher. His idea of a hit is to blow up an entire bus to kill one man, collateral damage notwithstanding. The unlikely pair of heroes face down their targets who just might be prepared to take the two with them! Five out of five stars.
We move to the world of boxing for our next tale, The Bruiser from Bavaria. How does a man enter a boxing ring gaunt and sickly looking and during the course of a fight against a muscular, top shape opponent grow strong and well? Yet The Bavarian Bruiser, Lazlo Valkraine does exactly that. And when the victorious Bavarian leaves the ring, his opponent lies dead.
Brother Bones is alerted to danger by his lovely spirit guide, who reveals that the Bavarian is a vampire. Nor is he alone, as his lackeys are vampires as well. Now Brother Bones must stop the disease that is vampirism from spreading. Or is he already too late? From the boxing ring to the gambling casino where Bobby Crandell is employed, from the dark streets to a decadent hotel suite, the action moves nonstop as the undead hero fights the undead villains! Five out of five stars!
In The Plastic Army Cape Noire is invaded by living manikins, living plastic on which bullets have little effect. Brother Bones is told by his spirit guide that there is magic at work here, and warns him that even he is not impervious to magic. She utters a word he has never heard before: golem. Learning the magic is religious, Brother Bones consults with Father Dennis O’Malley of St. Michael’s Catholic Church.
Meanwhile a new player has entered the game; a female vampire is hunting in Cape Noire. Brother Bones is later told by his spirit guide that the vampiress will battle evil in her own way and to let her do so.
From battles with plastic foes to a battle with the man who commands them; from making certain that the vampiress understands her role, to continuing his own fight, Brother Bones has his undead hands full in this tale! Five out of five stars!
In The Lady in Red we learn a lot more about the new heroine in town. Having failed to act and allowing a man to kill his wife almost under her nose, the vampiress and her lady friend and daytime watcher Nancy Hensen set a course of action.
Now a heroine in a red shirt, red jodhpurs, black leather boots and a cape, the new heroine calls herself Sister Blood. As she learns to control her powers and bloodlust, she is determined that not another woman will die because she refused to act. Brother Bones is not altogether pleased… Five out of Five stars!
And last, but certainly not least, The Godless is a tale of redemption and betrayal. When a young man meets with Father O’Malley before his execution, the good Father helps him find his way. Unfortunately, the story by the determined young reporter Sally Paige has totally unintended consequences. His father declares war on God and St. Michael’s Catholic Church in general.
Brother Bones has his own heart to heart speech to make, and he tends to make his persuasive comments with hot lead. Five out of five stars!
We dearly hope to see more of the same soon, mon capitain! A five star book this astounding is just crying for an encore!
Quoth the Raven…
If you could sum up Brother Bones: Tapestry of Blood in three words, what would they be?
Unique Creative Fantasy
What was one of the most memorable moments of Brother Bones: Tapestry of Blood?
To me, what's most memorable is Ron Fortier's creation, vigilante Brother Bone, placed into familiar Noir settings. Tapestry of Blood is a collection of work that combines adventure, fantastical characters of the underworld interacting with gangsters, and the every day people of a city filled with corruption and dog eat dog survival. It makes for an entertaining listen!
Have you listened to any of J. Scott Bennett’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
Yes! A half dozen or more of his work. I actually look for audio books he works on. I enjoy his abilities, he is versatile in voice characterizations, with a great sense of pace, and dramatic ability. He has set a standard that listeners can appreciate. This is no exception!
If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?
Vigilante, death dealing, Undead... "Cape Noire ain't worth a cup of vampire ...[urine]...", apologies to Clint Eastwood's Preacher in "Pale Rider".
Any additional comments?
Brother Bone is Ron Fortier's creation that other writers have branched the story from. The most familiar example for me is the "Thieves' World" collections. Robert Asprin, Lynn Abbey, Janet Morris, et al. I enjoy the idea.
Thank you for the opportunity to listen to and review "Tapestry of Blood. Highly recommended!
This review copy audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost