Saturday, September 10, 2011

Noteworthy Reads: WHERE ANGELS FEAR by C.J. Henderson & Bruce Gehweiler

If you're looking for an imaginative mix of spookery, action, and high adventure told in a well-written, slightly pulpy style—then look no further than this collection of rousing tales penned by C.J. Henderson and Bruce Gehweiler. There are eleven stories in all, running the gamut from encounters with everything from a prehistoric flying lizard to zombies to a headless horseman from the past still raising hell as he gallops through the misty night in modern-day Delaware.
At the center of these encounters is the unlikely pair of Dr. Hugh Blakely and Dr. William Boles, both renowned professors at Duke University. Blakely is a crypto-zoologist, a seeker of hidden or unknown animals; Boles is a parapsychologist, an explorer of all things supernatural who is aided by his own psychic visions. In addition to the differences in their chosen fields, the two are equally diverse in physical appearance and techniques for confronting a challenge. Blakely is big, rugged, outdoorsy—ready to plunge head-on against whatever stands in front of him, if necessary with flying fists or a blazing gun; Boles is slight in stature and far more cerebral, preferring to reason things out based on first-hand observation combined with his unique visions and vast general knowledge. That they are teamed together at all is necessary to satisfy the stipulaltions of a hundred-million dollar endowment to the university.
The banter and conflicting styles of the two men add a healthy dose of wry humor to the otherwise often grim situations in which they find themselves. During an encounter with a Sasquach-like "skunk ape" in the Okefenokee swamplands of Georgia, Blakely and Boles also encounter the local sheriff, auburn-haired Donna Fargo. After her world has been turned upside down by the events of that bloody episode, the formidable and determined Miss Fargo gives up her sheriff's star and joins the two professors in subsequent adventures, thus adding some sexual tension to the already potent brew.
The pace of these stories never flags and amidst the heroics and horrors there are a number of memorable secondary characters as well as some interesting insight contained in the narrative.
Exciting, highly entertaining stuff. Not to be missed.

Persevere --- WD

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