Monday 2 June 2014

Strange Bodies - Marcel Theroux

Well I don't know if this was what I was expecting; but whatever, because this was damn good. From reading the back I think I was expecting Zombies.... and because of that I pretty much had to force myself to start this, thinking how much good it would do to my section if I read a few more zombie books, and how much I unexpectedly enjoyed the last zombie book I read, (The Girl With All The Gifts... track this book down and read it 'coz it is GREAT!). What I got though was something quite different, a cloning/bodyswap type story line drawing in Cold War espionage, vicious gangsters and Dr Samuel Johnson. Throw in a touch of uncertainty about the reliability of the narrator, he is a resident at a mental hospital after all, and you have a totally winning mixture.
The writing was proper page turning stuff, that reminded me of James Smythe quite a bit of the time. I really didn't want to put this down. As well as a twisting and very interesting plot there are some simply brilliant characters and scenes; the section where the Russian Mobster who thinks he is/or as we find is more likely actually does have the mind of Dr Johnson escapes and roams around central London looking for familiar landmarks is quite brilliant. In fact most of this comes pretty damn close to brilliance and should be read by fantasy and thriller fans alike.

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