"Lucius Fogg: Malicious Intent" Book Review
Written by Dan Wickline
2011, 136 Pages, Fiction
Released on October 28th, 2011
It's never a quiet time when you're a supernatural detective. There's always some evil creature looking to rile things up and since all this stuff happens on the down low, there are only a few people that can take on these demonic forces. Enter Lucius Fogg and his trusty assistant Jimmy Doyle. In Malicious Intent, Dan Wickline's second volume of the Fogg story, he puts the sorcerer against one of his own, the dark Kieran Drake, who has revealed the existence of vampires, werewolves and more to the citizens of New York City all while running for mayor. Something's going on and Fogg and Doyle aim to get to the bottom of it.
As with the previous volume in the Lucius Fogg series, Malicious Intent is built on layers upon layers. The book starts out with Doyle's girlfriend getting possessed by a spirit that's been trapped in Fogg's house for over sixty years, but that's not the main story. Just when you think you've gotten to the bottom of that one, more and more pieces of the puzzle appear and you start to see the bigger picture. Wickline plays everything close to the vest until just the right moment, so each chapter leaves you dying for the next reveal.
Drake's plan is a large one that takes even the likes of Fogg and Doyle some time to sift through. Doyle narrates the story, despite his name not appearing in the title, and he's really the main character and driving force, especially since Fogg is stuck in his own home. Drake's revelation to the city could upset the delicate balance that has been preserved for years. There's an area called Old Town that humans instinctively know to avoid because it's filled with thieves and murderers. What they don't know is that it's actually inhabited by vampires and werewolves. They get to stay in those few blocks and in exchange they don't feed on the others in the city. It's an agreement that's worked for some time and Drake has just threw it out in one fell swoop.
Malicious Intent also includes a load of payoff for fans of the first book. There are a ton of answers to questions that were brought up in the premiere story. Why is Fogg trapped in his house? How did he become the great sorcerer he is now? How did the golem Tiny become the bouncer at vampire Conrad Black's club? All these questions are answered and then some. I'm actually not sure where Wickline will go next with this as there is so much information on the characters here. It's all presented in a pretty clear way, too, so it's not like you're sifting through loads of exposition. The pieces are dropped bit by bit throughout the story.
It also looks like the books now have official covers, which I am not a fan of. I love the sketches that appear on the first volume as well as the initial version of this one. The new covers for both this and Deadly Creatures look cheap, like someone threw them together in Photoshop.
That being said, Lucius Fogg: Malicious Intent builds on the first novel fantastically. This is an e-book exclusive and it fits the medium perfectly as each chapter is only a few pages long. It makes the novel great for something to pick up and read here and there. I read through the first five chapters while waiting on line at Target on Black Friday. Dan Wickline has created a great group of characters set within a 1950s era New York City filled with pulpy goodness and a splattering of the supernatural.