I’ve never reviewed a whole series before. But, I’ve never read a series like Frankenstein before, either. I am one of those people who has to read a series in order and I really like to have the next book ready after I finish one. This proved to be a challenge with this series. I had bought Book One: prodigal son on a whim at my favorite used bookstore without really thinking about it. When I was halfway through, I realized I needed the second book, city of night. I scoped out the shelves at the library and of course, the book was not there. However, I did pick up the third and fourth ones, dead and alive and lost souls. I called a nearby bookstore and they had the book. After work, I got it! Well, kept reading and reading and realized there was a fifth book, the dead town, that I hadn’t been aware of. So, again, checked with the library and no dice. Again, went to the bookstore and got the book. Whew!
The books actually were planned as a cable TV series so the first two books have a co-writer. As things were approaching a stalemate in that venue, Dean Koontz felt the story wasn’t progressing as well as he wanted it to and that he discovered that he “didn’t work well with others” (his words), so he dropped the TV stuff and went for a book series. There are several references in the series to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein so that’s now on my “to read” list that gets longer by the day.
In this version of Frankenstein, Michael Maddison and Carson O’Connor, detectives with the New Orleans Police Department, are called upon to investigate a series of unique murders, where victims are missing specific body parts. Through their investigation, they are joined by Deucalion, a 200-year-old conglomerate of a man created by none other than Frankenstein. Deucalion, Michael and Carson suspect that Victor Helios Frankenstein Leben Immaculate (subsequent last names in each book) has resumed the creation of a super-race with modern technology.
Victor’s fifth identical lab-created wife, Erika 5 (the first four didn’t work out and were destroyed), and her cohort, Jocko, the tumor creature extruded from another of Victor’s malfunctioning New Race beings, team up with the crew to eliminate Victor and his demonic creations in a righteously cruel and fascinating manner.
Although from very disgusting and disturbing origins, Jocko is quite a likeable character and provides great comic relief to gruesome details of the story. My favorite tidbit about Jocko is the fact that he is petrified of Johnny Depp.
Carson and Michael get married, have a baby and run their own private detective agency in San Francisco. Erika 5 and Jocko live a “normal” life as a family in Rainbow Falls, Montana. When Victor is vanquished, life goes on for all. Happy ending, right? Wrong, of course. The gang is reunited two years later in Rainbow Falls, where a new breed of creature is taking over the town. A “new and improved” Victor is to blame. He must be stopped for good and his goons along with him.
I do not know where Dean Koontz’s imagination will take him next. These books are a wonderful mixture of horror, thriller, mystery, science fiction, fantasy and humor that must be experienced to be believed. The ending of the series is a little too “pat” for me but all loose ends are tied up nicely. I just loved these books and was sad the series ended. For me, Frankenstein is one of my favorite book series ever.