Blue World - Robert R. McCammon
The only real problem I have with this enjoyable collection is the last story....Blue World. It is in fact more of a novella and in that respect is not a comfortable companion with the preceding 12 short stories, it upsets the complete rhythm of those that have gone before and whilst an interesting tale in its own way is totally out of context. It is the story of a priest John Lancaster who finds himself attracted to blue movie phenomenon Debra Rocks and the resulting moral dilemma that ensues. At some 200 pages long this one story although interesting and amusing soon runs out of ideas after the initial premise of "will he or won't he" loses its appeal. In contrast to this "Night Calls the Green Falcon" is a work of pure magic! Creighton Flint is an old retired movie star and in his prime the afternoon movie and in particular the black and white weekly adventure series (you know where the hero is attempting to rescue a beautiful damsel in distress who has been tied to the railway line with an express train fast approaching...the action stopped at an impossible moment/cliff-hanger and a whole week had to be waited until hopefully our hero rescues said damsel) An old and somewhat weary Green Falcon is called into service again when his neighbour and friend is murdered. The Green Falcon must don his outfit and go in search of The Fliptop Killer. The real genius of this story is the way Robert McCammon divides the action into chapters with nail biting dastardly misadventure concluding each akin to the old black and white movies of days gone by...."Hey, amigo the man said, and flame shot from the barrel of the small pistol he'd just drawn" (my goodness has our hero been shot!)....now read on to start of next chapter..."The Hispanic man lit his cigarette with the flame"....phew that was close! "Yellowjacket Summer" is not a story to read if you possess a bee phobia. The author uses both the desert heat and fear of yellowjacket bees to great effect in this "stinger" of a story. "Nightcrawlers" a tale of murder and intrigue that happens in Cheryl's diner and the mystery that unfolds with the arrival of a Vietnam veteran called Price. Nightmares, mental awareness, and the fear of the unknown are issues hidden within. "He'll come knocking at your door" A very clever tale in which Dan Burgess lives the ideal life with a beautiful wife and daughter. This family wants for nothing but when Dan is summoned to an urgent Halloween meeting with some town locals he learns that there is no such thing as a free ride. A wonderful story with spooky folk lore overtones. Virgil Sykes and his odd family move into their newly painted "The Red House" What is the significance of the colour red? and why does it so upset Bobby Deaken? How is Sykes able to work faster and smarter than all his colleagues....all will be revealed in this quirky, bubbly fun tale. A great collection which would have been even better if "Blue World" the final story had either been replaced or somewhat edited.