Friday, November 30, 2012

Greg Rucka's Non-zombiefied Walking Dead

Greg Rucka is one of my favorite writers, right up there with Robert B. Parker, Octavia Butler, Laurell K. Hamilton and Jim Butcher.
I discovered the Atticus Kodiak novels after I read Mr. Rucka's work on Batman and Wonder Woman, repsectively. Like his comic work, Mr. Rucka's characters are very believable and his dialogue and exposition are top-notch. All of this is in evidence in Walking Dead: A Novel of Suspense. (Incidentally, the novel is named for the threat one of the bad guys makes to Kodiak, promising that he is dead, but he doesn't know it yet.)
Earlier, in the book Critical Space, Atticus was blackmailed into helping Drama, one of the Ten, a group of elite assassins, get from under them and in doing so, his whole world changed as he learned how to become a killer under Drama's tutelage. Then in Patriot Acts, he became an international fugitive and fell in love with Drama, whose real name is Alena Cizkova. At the end of that book, they're living and hiding in Georgia in the former U.S.S.R. It's an almost idyllic existence until, a neighbor, who has ties to some very unsavory people, end up dead along with most of his family, except for his fourteen year old daughter who is kidnapped and taken into sex slavery. The girl was close to Kodiak and Alena both and he decides to follow the trail and rescue her from the slavers.
In a chase that stretches from Georgia to Amsterdam to Las Vegas, Kodiak works to get the girl back, threatening the life he's built and pissing off all the wrong people.
Will Kodiak and Alena survive? I'm not giving that away. You've gotta read the book and believe me, it'll be worth every minute spent.

Greg Rucka

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