Please note this page is a Work In Progress as I re-read all of Mr Marshall’s novels…
So sadly I come to the finale of “The Straw Men” trilogy – Blood of Angels. Now I’m feeling vaguely bereft again. I have absolutely loved my re-read of this set of books and I’m sad that I am done. I can’t start again right away can I? No perhaps not. But I’m sure this will not be the last time I read them.
This part of the tale finds Ward and Nina hiding out in a remote cabin and trying to leave the world behind them. John is nowhere, unable to contact him they reluctantly decide that their friendship is over. Then Nina’s boss at the FBI, Monroe, brings news of two murders..and everything changes. Dragged back into the horror, Nina finds herself haunted by ghosts from the past – and Ward is suspicious of the reasoning behind Monroe’s request for Nina’s assistance. Trying once more to contact John, he starts to untangle this latest mystery…
The Straw Men mythology deepens in this book – intriguing and well imagined it makes you wonder what exactly might be lurking behind closed doors…..hey how well do you REALLY know your neighbours, friends, confidantes. Many tangled webs weave themselves into the ultimate showdown..and its a corker of an ending trust me. But is it the end? I truly hope not.
The story taken as a whole, over the entirety of the three books is extremely well done. And yes there is room for more to happen in this world..I really need to know about a lot of things. Are you listening Mr Marshall? Having built up this whole mythology around Serial Killing do you know I would not be at all surprised if at least one recent tv show that will remain nameless ( Hint: Kevin Bacon gets in on EVERYTHING) has at least one writer that has read these particular books. The story may be different but the ambience is the same. So still, after this go round, this remains in my top 3 trilogies of all time. If you want to know what the other two are watch this space.Or this site at least….
Next on my list for my re-read for this section is “Killer Moves” – a book I remember kept me on the edge of my seat the first time around – and it didnt even need an Upright Man to do so.
Happy Reading Folks!
So my re-read continued and of course I had to go next for Book Two of “The Straw Men” Trilogy – The Lonely Dead and very shortly I will be immersed back into Book Three – Blood of Angels.
After the events of “The Straw Men” we find Ward in hiding, drifting from place to place and occasionally attempting to find out more about his background. Meanwhile John is pursuing some dangerous people – but who are the most dangerous – them or John himself? The only other person Ward trusts, Nina, is having her own issues – after covering up the dramatic final events of “The Straw Men” both her job and her life are on the line..together she and Ward must untangle the web John is caught up in but can they save him? Does he deserve to be saved?
Once again Michael Marshall weaves an intricate tale – so intricate that its hard to talk in depth about the plot without offering spoilers – and if you have yet to begin this trilogy then I would be mortified if I spoilt any part of it for you. I can say the mythology deepens – both Ward and John again find themselves facing almost impossible decisions – the world they find themselves in is a lonely and dangerous place. Nina, a character I didnt mention by name in my review of the first book, really comes into her own here. She is the voice of reason, the moral guidance if you like – and yet through her we explore the question – how far is too far before you will leave the law behind.
I loved this second part – it expands and adds to the overall tale brilliantly – no loss of pace or standard here – if anything it improves on the first in the series. Now you are in this world you need to know more about it. And Michael Marshall will tell you more about it…but not everything. Oh no. I’m in the happy position of not remembering in detail what is going to happen in the final instalment (for now – Yes Mr Marshall, I’ve got my eye on you – More Straw Men please!) so I can’t wait to dig into “Blood of Angels” and find out what is next for Ward, a character I have fallen in love with all over again.
At last its time for Michael Marshall to get his own page on my site – my reread of all his wonderful novels has finally hit my schedule – so of course I began with my favourite. The first in the “Straw Men” trilogy.
Ward Hopkins returns to his parents home after they are killed in a car accident. Whilst at the house, he discovers a note from his father…and so begins a journey into his past and that of his loved ones, a dangerous journey of discovery that may not end well. Meanwhile a young girl, Sarah, has gone missing and former LA Detective John Zandt, a man fighting his own demons, begins his own journey of discovery. Is it possible that Ward holds the key to saving Sarah from her fate?
This is a beautifully crafted story. One part leading to another to another a bit like Russian dolls – as Ward moves ever closer to learning the truth about his life, so John perhaps moves further away from himself and his own conscience….the terrible things they both face draw them together but also tear them apart. The mystery itself is well imagined – Serial Killer Thriller? Yes. And No. Or maybe. You decide. Certainly the author has created a rich mythology here – using real life events that we will all recognise he has woven an intricate tale and its extremely clever. Ward’s growing incredulity at what he is discovering will mirror your own as reader and looker on of events as they unfold. The supporting cast all do their bit – but its Ward and John that will interest you. And perhaps The Upright Man….
All in all fantastic. This is probably the third time I have read this book and each time I discover something new. Mr Marshall may smile when he learns that I’ve only just got the point of Sarah’s “safety” blanket – how many times have I read the name and it didnt sink in. You know what Im talking about…Don’t you Mr Marshall?
I’m not waiting. The Lonely Dead is next. Bring it on – what will I discover that I missed this time? You’ll have to await my next review.
Happy Reading Folks!
Moved from Fantasy and Sci/Fi.
I’m a big fan of Michael Marshall’s “Straw men” trilogy and since those I have read all his novels. He has an eye to the weird but written in an extremely entertaining way. His books will almost always mess with your head (in a very “what the hecks happening here” good way) and as usual I found myself immersed in the story and desperate to know what was what. David, an author who is about to get his first book published, bumps into a stranger who seems to know him – from then on strange things start happening and David finds himself in all sorts of trouble. Meanwhile, John agrees to help out his girlfriends bookclub pal who believes she is being stalked. However it is not as simple as that. As their two stories intertwine, we begin to discover another world – one that, whilst it is obviously fantasy, is actually quite believable. I have to say that when I wasnt reading this, I found myself often looking over my shoulder half expecting someone to be there! I very much enjoyed this – and whilst the Straw Men trilogy will probably always be my favourite from this author, he has never let me down when it comes to a darn good yarn. Excellent!