It’s the mid-1980s. Crime in Los Angeles is running rampant. When the law can’t help you, there is one man who can: Alexander L’Hiboux, whose ability to sleep was destroyed in the ghastly tragedy that cost him his family. Now he’s justice-for-hire, prowling the streets and solving crimes with deadly finality. A desperate, grief-stricken shipping magnate hires The Owl to find the scum who brutalized his daughter…a quest that uncovers a shocking conspiracy that will rock the city.
New author – tick,
Brash Books offering – tick,
Los Angeles setting – tick,
80’s – time frame - tick
Action, gun-play, a kidnapping and vigilante pay-back in the form of the insomnolence-suffering, enigmatic Owl – 4 ticks.
Plot and main character were a wee bit OTT, but after chucking my plausibility-radar in the corner after a chapter or two, I kicked back and enjoyed the ride. Did I totally buy into The Owl as the equally feared and revered harbinger of doom to the lawless? Not totally, but I was convinced enough to finish this one in fairly short order. I used to love watching Arnie and Bruce busting a few heads on screen. I loved reading about The Owl busting a few heads here.
Credit to Bob Forward for introducing a unique protagonist with a condition that stops him sleeping…..ever. His back-story and the minimal amount of personal relationships or contact he allows himself, firmly cements him as one of society’s outsiders. Definitely a guy you wouldn't want to get on the wrong side of. I was reminded me a little bit of Andrew Vachss’ Burke character, although Burke has a larger network of helpers.
Great little diversionary scenes from the author which underline the lack of normality that The Owl enjoys in his everyday life. For example - the lengths he has to go to in order to get a shower in a motel had me chuckling.
Best book ever? No but more than enough to like and have me looking forward to Forward’s second Owl book – Scarlet Serenade.
Bob Forward’s website is here.
4 from 5
Accessed through Net Galley, courtesy of Brash Books