Friday, July 2, 2010
A Clean Sweep
The Library Journal on Caretaker:
"Crime writer Zeltserman (Killer; Pariah) has produced a nail-biter. Caretaker Jack Durkin is obsessively faithful to an ancient book and a contract that requires him daily to weed a huge expanse from dawn to dusk, else "Aukowies," fiends nine feet tall with multiple fangs, will appear out of the ground to destroy the world. Jack knows he's an authentic superhero, but he is gradually betrayed by family and friends, unbelievers in the reality of his contract. Townsfolk sneer, and Jack suffers a variety of agonies, despite which he continues his exhausting labors, until finally he has no defender left. The narrative is straightforward and gritty, reminiscent of works of Dashiell Hammett. Place and time seem to float, and this tends to dislocate the reader, who may also come to doubt Jack's sanity. Verdict Not literary or even stylish but gripping and actually "horrifying," this title is recommended for horror fans and readers who may relish unpleasant surprises.-Jonathan Pearce, California State Univ. at Stanislaus, Stockton"
This gives me a clean sweep with the prepub reviews, with PW in a starred review calling Caretaker superb, Booklist also calling it superb, Kirkus liking it ("Harrowing. Zeltserman colors it black with the best of them."), and Locus Magazine writing it a terrific review. The consensus for Caretaker: gripping, harrowing, page-turner, nail-biter.
In the past I've been compared favorably in reviews to James M. Cain, James Ellroy, Jim Thompson, and now Dasheill Hammett, all writers I greatly admire, but no more so than Hammett. Hell, I'll take it.
A tip of the cap to fellow writer, Rob Kitchin, for his kind words yesterday for Killer. And thanks, Naomi, for pointing this out.