The Wrong Goodbye by Chris F Holm Advanced Review (djinn24)


djinn24 does an advanced review on Derringer Award finalist and a Spinetingler Award winner Chris Holm’s second book in The Collector Series coming out September, 2012 in the US, UK and eBook format by Angry Robot Book.

Sam reminds me of Ash Williams from The Evil Dead series, some bad luck, some demons, total ass kicking story ~ The Founding Field

You think you have a bad job?  Meet Sam, he is a collector, a minion of the demons of hell sent to earth to collect the souls of the evil and damned, or those dumb enough to make a deal with the devil. In the first book Sam found himself in a bad situation that he stopped, but in the process managed to piss off people upstairs as well as down. In this book we find Sam trying to keep a low profile after all that happened, it seems some are still holding a grudge and open conflict between the Chosen Ones and the Fallen are becoming much more common, threatening open warfare with civilian causalities. But all of that is trivial after a soul Sam has been put in charge of collecting goes missing. Now he must find it or he faces much worse then anything he has ever had to deal with, something much bigger then Angles and Demons.

I was a big fan of the first book, Dead Harvest (review here, 8/10 score) and was highly anticipating the second book release. Sam is still the same character that he was in the first book, a bit of a loose cannon, and a pain in the ass to his Demon bosses, which to me makes him seem much more human and kind, odd for a minion of hell. If you have read the first book then you know Sam is not a bad guy, he was just in a bad situation when he made his deal with a devil. The pace in this book is nice, a good balance of action and story. I had hard times putting it down and would read it whenever I had the chance too. We get to learn more about Sam and meet some of the people from his past.  I do find that this book does suffer some from middle book syndrome. It does stand alone as it’s own story but you can tell quite a bit was added as details and foreshadowing that will be resolved in future books in the series.  This is not a bad thing and is common in trilogies or even larger series. This book can be read as a standalone but I highly suggest that you read the first book as it will add a lot to the character of Sam.

This series has a lot of room to grow and may expand beyond just three books, though the next book will be the end of this current story arc.  I am really looking forward to see what Chris can pull off with the final book of the arc.  I am giving this book a 8/10.  I would have loved to have seen some of the other characters in this book expanded upon more, but I can see the difficulties of doing this and keeping the book on focus. If you are a fan of urban fantasy, thrillers, mysteries, or just like a good book then I would suggest grabbing this book when it is released.  You have enough time to finish up the first book before this one comes out if you start now!

Chris F Holm
Cover by Amazing15

4 Oct 2012
B-format paperback
£7.99 UK

25 Sep 2012
mass-market paperback
$7.99 US $8.99 CAN

25 Sep 2012

djinn24 is a professional miniatures painter, with an equally strong love of books. His reviews are concise and critical. He’s definitely good at what he does.