Wednesday, May 23, 2012

#22: The Dead Man's Brother by Roger Zelazny

A former art thief turned mostly legit art dealer is thrust back into danger when the body of a dead friend turns up in his New York gallery, sending him on a journey from the deepest jungles to the solemn halls of the Vatican in Roger Zelazny's The Dead Man's Brother.

This is an offbeat entry from the notable Hard Case Crime paperback noir series as it features a lost work of Zelazny's, who was almost exclusively known as a fantasy and science fiction writer.  His series The Chronicles of Amber seems to have been read by everyone who read fantasy novels in the 70s and 80s, including myself.

This adventure-style novel is a definite departure for Zelazny as our globe-hopping protagonist tries to clear his name, meeting exotic women and fighting sinister villains along the way.  Although definitely a product of a less enlightened era, with many non-PC moments, it is a fun read throughout.

I picked this up not only because I like Zelazny and Hard Case Crime but because some of the novel takes place at the Vatican, which I had visited.  I bought this with an Amazon gift card and read it in one swoop on a plane ride back from Italy.

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