February 3, 2014

Turkey Day for the Dead Man: a review of Lisa Klink's "Slaves to Evil"

Slaves to Evil (The Dead Man #11)
by Lisa Klink
Adventures in Television (2012)

Kind of worked out nicely that I read this installment in the Dead Man series around American Thanksgiving, since the ax-wielding hero, Matt Cahill, is about to save Turkey Day for the latest smalltown to fall under the influence of Mr. Dark.

Breckenbridge, Minnesota is a quaint, quiet town on the surface, but when Matt sees the rot on Breckenbridge's chief of police, he knows there's about to be trouble. Then he learns he's outnumbered, as nearly the entire police force has signs of Mr. Dark's corruption. It's not Matt's first rodeo when it comes to fighting evil though, so he should be able to come up with a plan and make quick work of them. There's just one little problem. His past is coming back to haunt him in the form of a vengeful young woman out to avenge the death of her brother, a death by the hands of Matt Cahill.

What started out as a by-the-numbers episode of The Dead Man really took a new and unexpected turn here. And Matt's way of dealing with the problem carries a rather dark undertone, which struck me as both interesting and a little disturbing, by essentially abducting the young woman after thwarting her attempt to kill him. Sure, it was self-defense, but the subsequent imprisonment of the woman in an abandoned building seemed strikingly ignoble for the rather resolute champion of good. Maybe the mission is wearing on him, as he seems obsessed with taking down the evil members of the police force to the point of leaving a frightened stranger tied up.

It's good, but I would have loved to see Klink dive a little deeper into Matt's psyche with this new development in his tactics, but I guess there are numerous more episodes in the series to do that, and I believe Klink pens another one later on. If what's she has done here can carry on and flesh out the series a little more, I will be quite pleased.

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