Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Noteworthy Reads: DEVIL YOU KNOW by Richard Prosch

The Peregrine, John Coburn, is back in a pair of stories from Richard Prosch. Any way you cut it, that comes out as good news.
Prosch is one of my favorite authors and Coburn is one of my favorite series characters.

DEVIL YOU KNOW, the lead piece, is the longer (almost novella length) of the two and is a welcome return to the grimmer, tougher Peregrine readers first met in the earliest tales in the series. Prosch’s stylistic flair, an array of colorful characters, and some nice touches of humor are all in evidence but what I really liked was the toughness and the action. In particular, there was a prolonged brawl that was written about as exciting and well as that kind of thing can be done. Throw in a mystery element and some clever twists toward the end and you’ve got just about all you’d want from a story.

DEVIL’S BARGAIN, the secondary piece, is more lighthearted and features the return of Coburn’s sometimes sidekick Bandy Murphy, who has roped the Peregrine into a scheme that involves trying to sell a wagonload of fast-rotting eggs. It turns out the eggs aren’t the only thing smelling up the landscape when they run afoul (no pun intended) of some folks trying to work the old badger game on unsuspecting travelers. Good fun and, again, colorful characters with some clever twists and, as always, Prosch’s great writing.

Strongly recommended.

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