- Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages
- Publisher: Onyx; 1st Printing edition (November 1, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0451412001
- ISBN-13: 978-0451412003
- Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 1.2 x 6.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 26 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,249,269 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Swastika Mass Market Paperback – November 1, 2005
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Readers who relish monsters wearing a human face must read a Michael Slade novel. -- Midwest Book Review
Showing 1-6 of 26 reviews
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For veterans of the Special X series Swastika offers all the trimming associated with a Michael Slade novel; a beautifully crafted and tense plot, well written and well developed characters, twists and turns that could cause whiplash, psychos galore, and enough historic research and background that you'll be shocked he found time to write the book at all.
For newcomers to Michael Slade's Special X series know this; Before CSI, before Law and Order, before Numbers, or any of the other `Johnny-come-lately' forensic shows and books the Special X series was bringing cutting edge forensic science to the world. Always ahead of his time, Michael Slade introduced the general public into true psycho hunting the way it is really done, and true psychos that make Hannibal Lecter look like Mr. Rodgers by comparison.
Swastika is a fast paced, page turner that is part thriller, part mystery, part horror, and all Michael Slade. A masterful entry into the Special X series and a joy to read, Swastika is a great starting point for newcomers to the series.
(WARNING: Virtually ALL Slade novels are meant to be read IN ORDER. If you read a book in the series out of order, you risk learning the ENDINGS/KILLER'S IDENTITIES of/from previous novels which are probably FAR BETTER than the book you are presently reading! Slade made a fabulous start for about the first four books and rapidly tapered off from there. If you haven't read the original *HEADHUNTER*, BUY IT(!!!) and START THERE! Keep them IN ORDER and you'll do fine - UNTIL YOU HIT EVIL EYE which is simply THE PITS!)
Tightly written. Absolutely pointless. Unlike all the previous novels that switch back and forth between past and present events, this one spends waaaaaay too much time in the past. Sadly, it does so at the near total expense of present day character developement of which there is virtually NIL - cops, supporting characters and psychos alike... Pure cardboard every single one.
Where are the creepy atmospheres? The stark, eye popping violence? Gruesome and inventive ways to die? And what happened to Zinc Chandler who just sorta magically disappeared from the case mid-stream? (One is reminded of Married With Children where the much hated SEVEN went upstairs and was mercifully never seen again. Unfortunately, we LIKE Zinc Chandler...)
Speaking of missing: As per Slade creedo "ANYONE can die at any time" - guess who gets KNOCKED OFF right off the bat? Gee, only the series' recurring character with the most potential to get the entire series BACK ON TRACK... It is my personal belief that Clarke is randomly throwing darts at a dartboard to determine who in the Spec X family dies - possibly weighting Chandler and DeClerque slightly ahead of everyone else in terms of survivability. You look at the death of this particular character and you just roll your eyes and think "WHY????? WHAT were you THINKING when you came up with this???" (I'm guessing they were thinking that they've run out of ideas and it is about time to dump the Spec X series and write historical novels...)
If all this wasn't bad enough, we're treated to a painfully boring course in QUANTUM MECHANICS. This, from an author that clearly nearly forgot to include MURDERS in his murder mystery and seems to take great offense at being drawn away from his historical novel to include them. To that end, never have I witnessed such an ECONOMY OF WORDS both setting up and describing the mayhem. Longtime readers will literally find themselves asking "What the HELL???????"
This will put an end to it. R.I.P. Slade. Clarke and his daughter have hit rock bottom, yet continue to dig.
P.S. If you want a REAL MYSTERY, read ALL the "Was this review helpful to you?" numbers. Some VERY STRANGE PATTERNS here - especially if you read the CONTENT of the reviews vs. the number of pos/neg replies. One doesn't have to be a Spec X detective to see that "sumpthin'" ain't quite right... Can ya say "Sladist RINGERS", boys and girls?
However, I don't think the people at Fox News would like this book since there is a little America bashing thrown in. Don't let Sean Hannity or Bill O'Reilly see this book or they may do a campaign against Canada (wink wink, nod nod)! To be fair, Slade also bashes the Canadian government a bit so it isn't as bad as it sounds. In past novels, he has also done plenty of Canada bashing. In this case it makes a good plot device and has the usual disclaimer at the end "This story is a work of fiction... bla bla bla."
If you want a unique view of the history of the Nazi's this book is for you. If not, be prepared to slog through chapter after chapter of the Hitler channel. But if you persevere, there is a decent story in there (mostly after page 200 or so) and I eagerly await the next Michael Slade novel.
Sort of recommended!