Photographing the Dead is the second story in Dean Koontz’s Nameless series. Like the first story, you can read this one in less than hour. We get to know a little more about the main character and the formidable group who directs him as they chase another psychopath. This time the evil target is a young photographer, with a huge inheritance that allows him to travel the country taking photographs of nature while he hunts his victims. Palmer Oxenwald is truly disturbed. He was sent away to a private asylum as a teenager in failed attempt to cure his inhuman cruelty. He enjoyed torturing small animals to death, photographing the torture and reliving the bloodshed over and over again through the pictures. He graduated to people and became a true Koontz villain. He is an avatar of Death. He has a duty to kill. What would the world be if Death chose not to cull the herd of humanity?.....He is not fearful. He is an avatar of Death, Death incarnate, and Death fears nothing.
Nameless is still a young man, probably mid-thirties, but not a large or powerful man. He is directed by the Ace of Diamonds who has lots of resources and technology at their disposal. They relentlessly track Oxenwald with the intention to eliminate him in a way that is fitting revenge for all of his past sins. The plot is fast paced and the tension builds as Nameless and his faceless team close in. As in the previous story, they outsmart evil rather than overpower it. We still do not learn what has erased his memory but there is a short scene near the end where he has a vision of woman and two children, one with a floppy eared rabbit in her hand, a scene which we first saw in the first story, and portends to end in a bad way. I expect we will come back to this in future stories. This is another entertaining read from an American master.
This is a good series involving "Nameless" because he doesn't know his name and he never keeps a name for any length of time. A modern day Robin Hood with a vigilante twist. I only wish Mr. Koontz had resurrected Jim Ironheart and Holly Thorne from COLD FIRE. What a good book that was. With today's school shootings, mass murders, forest fires, flooding, tsunamis, kidnappings, aircraft accidents, etc., there is more than enough for those two heroes to fly around saving people. They were two very strong characters.
I chose a 5 star rating because Koontz's description of the evil within the perpetrator is so heartfelt, it literally curdels the blood. The suspense surrounding the fate of the innocent young ladies hikers us so unsure that I raced page to page to assure that they were indeed safe and the warning about an empending marriage camse as a surprise, perhaps, hopefully a sequel.
An artist of death versus nameless nomad with unclear memories of dead beyond the veil of amnesia and the strong sentiment for children, dogs and protection of the innocent. A quick, likable and easy read about hunting the human hunter in the Mojave wasteland.