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The Wrong Goodbye (The Collector) Mass Market Paperback – September 25, 2012
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“With a candid style that exhibits solid confidence and finesse, Chris Holm pulls readers in and pins us to the edge of our seats”
- New York Journal of Books
“A strong urban fantasy that will cement Holm’s reputation in the field.”
- Paul Simpson, SciFi Bulletin
"Beyond the humor, Chris Holm’s real talent is keeping the plot moving at breakneck pace. He doesn’t set a ticking clock, but he effectively drives home the danger of every delay, and builds action sequences that race along. He also knows how to build horrific scenes, using these moments to drive home how dire the outlook is if Sam doesn’t resolve things quickly."
- Untitled United
“Holm’s established himself with this one. It’s smart (the winking references to pop culture alone will make savvy readers grin) and packs a hefty wallop of action as well as setting up several dominoes for the next book.”
- Raging Biblioholism
“It’s a fun adventure, a cross-country fantastical crime spree that fans of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods and the TV show Supernatural will likely enjoy. It hits all the right notes as both a buddy comedy and a horror show.”
- Neliza Drew, Criminal Element
“I love Holm’s creativity and his willingness to not simply follow the herd of current fiction trends. The Wrong Goodbye is a great novel, filled with adventure and a straightforward storytelling style that makes this book a real treat.”
-Kristin, OwlCat Mountain
"I feel like this series is only getting stronger."
-Every Read Thing
"Pacing is brisk (but not overwhelming), the action is intense (but not distracting) and, once again, the flashbacks are well-placed and reveal more of Sam, serving to increase our sympathy for him even further."
About the Author
Chris Holm was born in Syracuse, New York, the grandson of a cop with a penchant for crime fiction. It was the year of punk rock and Star Wars, two influences that to this day hold more sway over him than perhaps his wife would like.
His stories have appeared in a slew of publications, including Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, Beat to a Pulp, and Thuglit. He has been an Anthony Award nominee, a Derringer Award finalist, and a Spinetingler Award winner.
He lives on the coast of Maine with his wife and a noisy, noisy cat. When he's not writing, you can find him on his porch, annoying the neighbours with his guitar.
Top customer reviews
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Well, as much as I liked DEAD HARVEST, the first Sam Thornton book, I have to say that I liked THE WRONG GOODBYE even more.
This isn't just another episode. You know those series books in which each one has a new body? Yeah, this ain't one of those. In THE WRONG GOODBYE, soul collector Sam Thornton gets into new trouble, sure. But what's really cool about this one is how the world-building continues.
The story is great and dangerous and tense and I can't recommend it to you enough. This is a fantastic novel. I've seen the term "urban fantasy" tossed around and always picture some knight fighting a dragon in Manhattan. Well, this is "urban fantasy," but it's really supernatural -- in a good way. No sparkle-vampires, here. You've got demons and devils and bugs and angels, sure. But you've got real people in real serious trouble with SO MUCH AT STAKE!
Now, the point I was trying to make is that this book builds on the world created in DEAD HARVEST. And that world of soul-collecting and battles between angels and demons and all, well, that just gets more and more developed here. What a fantastic achievement this book is.
Of course, I don't actually care too much about what the author has accomplished. Great for him and all. It's super cool. But what I really, really, really like is that this book is an amazing read -- exciting and detailed and deep and so nuanced on a sentence level. Just so much fun to read.
... unless it is part of Chris F. Holm's The Collector series.
The titles summon memories of classic hard-boiled noir in apparent homage to Dashiell Hammett's Red Harvest and Raymond Chandler's The Long Goodbye. [The 3rd installment, The Big Reap provides a similar tip of the hat to Chandler's The Big Sleep.]
Then look at the beautiful cover design: well-worn, long-loved pulp (complete with creases and stains), mingled with the supernatural and brought forward to the 21st century.
The only thing I wanted to do more than admire these covers was to open the bloody things up to get inside.
Sam Thornton is a collection agent from Hell.
No, really, he is.
Sam is a 1950s good-bad-guy operating in the 21st century. He collects the souls of the damned for delivery to Hell.
Sam has a sympathetic backstory and is very likeable. Oh, and he is conflicted. And determined. He is a well-conceived and very-well-written anti-hero.
Still in trouble from his actions in Dead Harvest, Sam is sent for the soul of a brutal Columbian drug lord. When he arrives to collect, he finds the soul (which is his responsibility and only he is supposed to collect) missing: taken by Sam's friend Danny.
Did I mention that Collectors aren't supposed to have friends?
Where Dead Harvest centred on Good vs. Evil, The Wrong Goodbye focuses on friendship and fellowship. With the bosses watching closely and his freedom at stake, Sam chases old friends, aided in his pursuit by an oddball (how else would you describe a recently-deceased hoodlum, a Texas oil man and a 7-foot transsexual fortune teller?) assortment of new friends.
Pacing is brisk (but not overwhelming), the action is intense (but not distracting) and, once again, the flashbacks are well-placed and reveal more of Sam, serving to increase our sympathy for him even further.
I loved this book almost as much as I loved Dead Harvest and my only regret is that I have a wait a while for the return of Sam Thornton.
(Originally posted at cheffojeffo.wordpress.com)
What a breath of fresh air in the urban fantasy genre. I wasn't entirely sure what to expect when I first started this and while it may be a failure if epic proportion s to describe my reaction as such, I'll do it anyways:
I was pleasantly surprised.
And I'd write more on it, but I can never do good books justice with my reviews. And honestly, I want to start in on the sequel right now. I don't have time to be writing - I gotta read!