Blood of Angels (Straw Men #3)

dab4d239ae7d0c3117e648ff2eca4c14This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes. blogspot.wordpress.com by  Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

Title: Blood of Angels

Series: Straw Men

Author: Michael Marshall

Rating: 2.5 of 5 Stars

Genre: Thriller

Pages: 422

Format: Kindle digital edition

 

Synopsis:

Nina and Ward are dragged back into an investigation, of a potential female serial killer. At the same time Paul, with the help of the Straw Men, escapes from custody and begins to put into place a horrific plan. A former Straw Men is dragged back into service and a young man of Straw Man parentage is roped into Paul’s plan.

Nina is kidnapped and Ward and Zandt are distracted from thwarting Paul’s plan. And it is revealed that the Straw Men have been around destroying Civilization since Atlantis and now they intend to begin again.

 

My Thoughts:

I was kind of going along for the ride until the author stated that Jesus was just a man who faked his death and secretly lived out the rest of his life in Europe. I don’t have a problem with conspiracy theories about the Church or saints or what not, but when you baldly deny Jesus’ claim of Divinity, then you’ve moved into Blasphemous territory. I take that rather seriously.

My other issue is with the series as a whole. The Straw Men themselves, in fact. They are presented as this group of evil people bent on murder and mayhem but with the tight control of a genius. They have persisted for untold time and continue strong. I just don’t buy it. Evil, by its very nature, is destructive and eventually self-destructive. You might have individuals who can control themselves while allowing evil full reign in their life, but never groups of people and even those individuals must at some point succumb themselves. A group dedicated to evil will rise, prosper and then decay and fall, usually to another group.

Other than those 2 things, this was an ok read. I’m not a big fan of Conspiracies and Grand Paranoia, so some of the appeal of this series just wasn’t aimed at me.

The Lonely Dead (Straw Men #2)

e71e652a19736a3d09fd66894fe88ef6This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot. wordpress.com & Bookstooge’s Reviews on the Road Facebook Group by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

Title: The Lonely Dead

Series: Straw Men

Author: Michael Marshall

Rating: 2.5 of 5 Stars

Genre: Thriller

Pages: 339

Format: Kindle digital edition

 

Synopsis:

Ward and the other people from the previous book return. Trying to hunt down Ward’s twin, Paul, they are getting nowhere. Until the Straw Men decide that Paul is too out of control for even their tastes. Then they allow the 3 just enough clues to hopefully put Paul down but with enough leeway that Paul can return the favor to the trio.

Paul’s gone off the rails, convinced that bigfoot is really magical Neanderthals and that if he can kill one, he can propitiate whatever imaginary dark gods exist for the Straw Men.

 

My Thoughts:

In the previous book, we were let into the mind of a killer. This time around we just watch the author clown around. Telepathic neanderthals that can twist your mind into seeing magical elves or unicorns or bigfoot. Come on.

I like fantasy. But I didn’t realize that this was fantasy. The hopeless existential nothingness was still there but the ridiculousness of the overall idea just kept me from feeling it. Which is good, I guess? Probably not the author’s intent though.

I’ve got the final book available to me and I’ll be reading it. But it wouldn’t surprise me at all if Paul the insane serial killer who makes even the Straw Men afraid, turns out to be Lucky the Leprechaun, complete with a bowl of Lucky Charms cereal.

The Straw Men (Straw Men #1)

0c5d169fdb3fc245f8ba7dda132d8423This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot. wordpress.leafmarks.com & Bookstooge’s Reviews on the Road Facebook Group by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

 

 

 

 

Title: The Straw Men

Series: The Straw Men

Author: Michael Marshall

Rating: 3 of 5 Stars

Genre: Horror

Pages: 404

Format: Kindle digital edition

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A man’s parents die and leave him a clue that will start him down a mysterious and dark path.

A young teen girl is kidnapped and a former cop, who’s own daughter was abducted, is brought on board by an FBI agent to try to save the girl.

Both of these plots weave and twine together in a horrific clash of the worst of humanity.

 

My Thoughts:

I’d like to thank Runner for putting this book, and this trilogy, on my radar.

I was conflicted during the whole read. On one hand, it was gripping, well written and I DID NOT WANT TO STOP READING. On the other hand, dipping my mind, no matter how tangentially, into the cess pool of an insane killer who has formed a whole group of uber-rich killers of like mind, was disgusting and left me feeling filthy.

I also noticed just how bleak and hopeless everything was. I don’t want that type of thinking to invade my mind. There is hope and there is meaning and there is purpose. As Browning wrote,

God’s in His heaven—All’s right with the world!

 

The above is why I gave this book 3 stars. On the writing side, it was a strong 4, maybe 4.5. I just couldn’t put this down and wanted to read and read and read.  I’ll be finishing the trilogy but after that I suspect I won’t be reading any more by Marshall. Bleak and Hopeless aren’t things I can deal real well with on a continual basis.

If you want a taut, horrific thriller, this is the book for you.