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realjimbob

REALJimBob

Fortysomething, photographer slacker, working in IT, living in Greenwich; failed polymath; drinks and eats too much, reads too little...

Lightning in the Blood

Lightning in the Blood - Gregory S. Fallis The original Joop Wheeler and Kevin Sweeney novel, Greg's first outing for the characters. Initially a research project into detective fiction, Greg decided he could do better. Luckily for us, and his dissertation, he was right.

The story is told in the same alternating voice style as the later Dog on Fire short stories. Only this time the voice changes with each chapter rather than with each story. And again it works well. There seemed to be a couple of chapters that almost felt artificially short, like Greg needed to get back to the other narrator to progress the story at the pace he wanted to. But the story progresses according to Greg's plan, so it's a minor quibble.

Again, with these stories, Greg is writing about real people, real fictional people that he seems to like. Which makes us like them to. It's not that the detective stuff suffers – there's still a crime, a prime suspect and a herculean effort to investigate that suspect's guilt or otherwise. But there's a lot more depth to the characters than we often get in fiction where the twists are often seen as more important than the story. The really interesting thing for me was that I realised I wasn't trying to second guess the author, I wasn't looking for detective fiction clichés or to work out who was guilty or innocent. It's not that I didn't care if she was guilty or not, but it wasn't the only point of getting to the end of the book. Sometimes you can just enjoy the journey.

I read the original 1993 hardback edition, which I'd ordered days before Greg announced he was updating the novel for an ebook release last year (2011). I don't know how much he's changed for that edition though, maybe I'll have to try a compare and contrast...