Reviewed by Dave Brzeski
Can there be anyone who isn’t aware of Hans Holzer’s many non-fiction books on the paranormal? Fewer may be aware that he also wrote novels of the supernatural. I certainly wasn’t. I now have a list of books I need to track down.
I was also unaware that his daughter, Alexandra, had followed her father into the paranormal investigation business. In fact, this was the first time I’d actually heard of her. Now, in a bid to follow her late father into the fiction business too, she’s allied herself with the award-winning New Pulpster, Bobby Nash, and this book is the first result.
The book opens with an introduction from Ernie Hudson, of ‘Ghostbusters’ fame. The sad death of Harold Ramis having put paid to any hope of another movie in that franchise, Hudson officially passes the baton to Alexandra, ending his introduction with, “Who you gonna call?GHOST GAL! That’s who.”
It’s a fast-paced, action-packed adventure, as I would expect from Bobby Nash. It opens with Hans Holzer himself, defeating an ancient menace once and for all… or so he thought. Naturally, the wrap-up turns out to be not quite as permanent as he might have hoped. Sure enough, twenty-two years later, in the late 50s, the big bad is back and hungry for a spot of vengeance, before he gets around to setting the whole world alight.
By this time, young Alexandra has joined the family business, with the help of her lawyer fiancé, Joshua. She proves a very capable chip off the old block. We are introduced to the “men” in charge of two strange organisations: Samuel Esau, the head of the OAGI (Office of Angel Guides); and Jacob Black, the head of the OESI (Office of the Evil Sloth Intermediaries). These organizations deal with the various spirits that the Holzer clan capture, making sure they get to where they should be.
One of the strengths of Bobby Nash’s writing is in the interaction between these various characters. Always entertaining, frequently hilarious, he does an impressive job of working out the dynamics between any particular pairing.
Pulp fiction at its best, this is a fast, entertaining read that leaves the reader eager for more.
As an added bonus the book is rounded out with an epic poem, by John Masefield, entitled ‘The Hounds of Hell’, which is on a similar theme.