Thomas J. Thorson’s The Cosmic Killings delivers. Thorson rewards the reader with relatable characters, snappy prose and a succinct plot. Also, ironic humor appears frequently enough to keep readers chuckling.
Humor sneaks in when a volunteer at the zoo calls the police “incompetent boobs.” Late in the story, the English Department Head at the university where Mal teaches, disparages Mal’s teaching methods. I erupted into outright laughter when Mal says the following to confuse and dismiss him:
“Stuart, no need to be alarmed. I’m sure you’re keenly aware that when it comes to the problematization paradigm of students’ dialectic approach to disputatious engagements, where iatrogenic paths are often the result of idiopathic homogeneity, professorial divagation toward the inapposite, here in the form of a demiurge, can lead to originative solutions. Don’t you agree?”
Even Mal agrees to himself that this is “pure babble.”
Relevant information about Amish culture and Raelism slow the plot a bit. However, things speed up as Vinn Achison and Malcom Winters’ investigation heats up.
Vinn and Malcom (Mal) help bring down a killer who murders two young people. But they feel that the case isn’t finished. The police officer who oversees the official, but closed, investigation, agrees. So, with the officer’s blessing, Vin and Mal continue their probing and research. And feel like they’re traveling “a path of uncertainty in a crusade without end.”
Vin and Mal’s deepening relationship rings true. They enjoy everything from cooking for each other to trying to outsmart each other in their investigations. Leo and Ted/Rebecca, Mal’s tenants, make appearances. As usual, they help in the current murder investigation.
Thorson’s new book delves a bit too much into lesser-known religions (Amish, a traditionalist Christian group, and Raelism, a UFO religion founded in the 1970s). But it still charmed and satisfied me.
See my reviews of Thorson’s previous books, Heirs Apparent and Connubial Corpse, here and here.
I received a free copy of this book, but gave an honest opinion.
The Cosmic Killings
Thomas J. Thorson