"Infinity Twice Removed" Book Review
Written by Steve Pattee
Published by Delirium Books
Written by Michael McBride and William C. Rasmussen
2011, 72 pages, Fiction
Book released on November 22nd, 2011
When his wife and kid are brutally murdered by the Infinity Killer, Malcolm Jeffers uses his skills as a Navy SEAL to find and destroy the person responsible. But what happens when someone using the same M.O. as the Infinity Killer appears on Jeffers' radar 20 years later? You got it, Jeffers takes it upon himself to take care of business where the cops can't.
Every time I review a novella or short story, I mention the importance of having to quickly produce characters that you care about (or hate, depending). The Delirium Books novella series, the ones I have reviewed anyway, have been consistently good in this regard. The company is on the top of its game when picking out incredible writers both known and unknown. Overall, they have been batting pretty good. Until now. Kind of.
Infinity Twice Removed is not a terribly original story, but that can usually be forgiven with quality writing. The problem here is the writing is hit and miss. It succeeds tremendously with the killer's point of view. The guy is an all-round creepy dude, and the authors' development of him is impressive considering the limited amount of pages they had to work with. But on the opposite side is the severe lack of characterization of our hero Jeffers. There is nothing to him. He was a SEAL, he avenged his family, he owns a self-defense store. Because of this complete lack of development, there isn't anyone to root for in the piece. I'd even have been okay with the Infinity Killer being likeable, so long as I had someone I could relate to, but he's effectively evil.
And that's the pisser. The authors do an exceptional job of creating an intensely despicable character in the killer, but completely drop the ball with the protagonist, making him one dimensional at best. What makes it worse is the book is well written and enjoyable despite the lackluster lead, but it quickly becomes a 'what could have been' scenario as it's quite clear from the rest of the story that the authors are more than capable of delivering the goods.
Infinity Twice Removed is one that suffers from the confined limits of a novella. This has the potential to be a fantastic novel given a fleshed out protagonist, but as it stands right now it's an entertaining read, albeit forgettable.