“Fate is by far the greatest mystery of all.” – Deanna Raybourn
Richard Dawes’ book, ‘Jack Slade: Demon Hunter’, is the latest installment in the ‘Jack Slade’ series. There's something strange afoot in New Orleans where Jack Slade is enjoying some much deserved R&R. The world is already in the throes of disintegration, but a particularly malignant type of evil is spreading its tentacles through the Caribbean and up into the States. Antoine Duvalier is a man of power who has become even stronger after the Old Gods bestowed upon him their ancient power. Jack Slade steps in to restore balance in the world, but he doesn’t realize he's stepped into the dark and dangerous world of Voodoo.
If this is the first book you are reading in this series, then this book gives enough background information on how Jack Slade came to be. Richard Dawes goes back in the narrative and tells the story of a dangerous assignment Slade was sent on by the security firm he works for, the Diamond Group. His death-dealing attitude, the undercover nature of his work, and the high octane action scenes give you a very good idea of the man.
There’s plenty to like in this series even if you aren’t a fan of vigilante justice. Especially since the hero takes down not only criminals and terrorists, but evil men who use bad mojo and black power to advance their interests. Slade is a bit of an archetype in that he always stands up for the weak and downtrodden and those who can't stand up for themselves. But unlike other similar characters, there’s plenty to know and learn about him, especially his way of thinking and his code of right and wrong.
The black powers mentioned in the book and the generous use of Voodoo beliefs and terminology achieve a balance between a scholarly work and something one would find in popular fiction. It's very hands-on, and the reader gets a sense of what this means to a large section of people in the world. Richard Dawes hasn’t used the Voodoo angle merely as a device to entice you to become interested in its practices. He treats Voodoo with respect and outlines some of its history and influence in communities around the Caribbean and within a section of the Black population in the States.
As with all Richard Dawes' novels, Demon Hunter is intellectually and emotionally driven. You won’t have to suspend your beliefs to enjoy this one.
In the end, Jack Slade: Demon Hunter provides the necessary thrills and scares. Although it's heart-pounding at times, it isn’t just gory and ghastly. It's more slow and subtle. It should be a wonderful reading experience for any reader.
* * * * *
Paperback: 139 pages
Publisher: Melange Books, LLC; 1 edition (December 13, 2016)