Photographing the Dead

Photographing the DeadA Self Styled Artist Is Getting Away With Murder In Death Valley If All Goes Well, So Will Nameless In Part Two Of The Nameless Series, The Relentless Avenger Is Haunted By Nightmares Of The Past And Visions Of What S To ComePalmer Oxenwald S Hunting Ground Is The Mojave Wasteland His Victims Are Random Tourists And Hikers His Trophies Are Cherished Photographs Of The Damage He S Done His Greatest Threat Is Nameless Two Men With One Thing In Common Memories Of The Dead For A Psychopath Like Palmer, They Re A Clear Rush In Black And White For Nameless, They Re Visions Of Violence Buried And Erased But For How Long From New York Times Bestselling Author Dean Koontz Comes Photographing The Dead , Part Of Nameless , A Riveting Collection Of Short Stories About A Vigilante Nomad, Stripped Of His Memories And Commissioned To Kill Follow Him In Each Story, Which Can Be Read Or Listened To In A Single Sitting This one was just okay too I think I am getting a bit disappointed since Nameless doesn t really need to go toe to toe with the bad guys They end up caught, he with help disposes of them We get some clues to his past in this one I wish all of the bad guys didn t have some weird God complex The first two in this series sound similar Photographing the Dead has Nameless hunting down another serial killer This one gets off by photographing the men and women he comes across and kills Nameless trails the killer and we also follow two young women who are set to be married in a few months We have a sense that if Nameless doesn t stop the killer, these two women are going to be his next victims.Well we get a better sense of Nameless in this one He also appears to be a Paul Newman hater For shame Nameless, for shame Newman made a number of movies where he relied too much on his looks and charm But he was sometimes great You ever see Hud He done lost his damn mind Newman was a snack and he could act The mysterious Ace of Diamonds is still mysterious I got nothing on this person or persons yet.The two young women, Mia and Kara love to hike and are off hiking together prior to marrying Of course they both carry weapons and know how to use them That is me rolling my eyes Koontz can never miss a chance to write about guns I rolled my eyes reading about Nameless s gun of choice too The writing was okay, I got bored reading about how the serial killer had some pretty big connections As I said above, the serial killer had a similar mindset to the last guy so I was just okay, you re super evil and superior too, got it The flow was okay, this one was much shorter so maybe that had something to do with it I forgot to mention that in this one and last story had a pretty cool illustration Other than that though, the series is already sounding samey I wonder if we had a bunch of mystery thriller authors try to write about Nameless this would be interesting.The ending is definitely a surprise, got to love how Ace of Diamonds wanted to take care of things This story leaves things open to the fact that maybe Nameless is starting to remember some things. More of a 3.5 , but another enjoyable entry in the collection. The second book in the Nameless series, even better than the first. A quick and enjoyable read I m intrigued to finish the rest of the series and learn about Nameless and his past. Dean Koontz, so disappointingI have been an avid reader of Dean Koontz stories since the beginning He s always been a brilliant story teller that pulls the reader in almost immediately into his book This however, is not the Dean Koontz that I remembered and loved I was very disappointed with both number 1 and 2 of the nameless series Now I understand why it was free My review of PHOTOGRAPHING THE DEAD can be found at High Fever Books.Dean Koontz delivers up another serviceable thriller, minus the thrills, in his series of novellas from revolving around the amnesiac character, Nameless Like its predecessor, Photographing the Dead is quick, easy read, one that doesn t ask a lot of the reader and delivers just as little in return This time around, Nameless is playing mind games with Palmer Oxenwald, a serial killer who has a passion for photography in the Mojave.That s about all that happens, really, and at 58 pages it feels longer than it needs to be, and even pointless an endeavor the longer you think about it If you read book one, then you know Nameless is working for a secret group of hackers Neither he nor the reader knows who this group is or why they do what they do beyond the auspices of delivering justice In Photographing the Dead, we surmise early on that Nameless has Oxenwald dead to rights thanks the evidence his handler, Ace, has pieced together One must raise the question, then, of why Nameless engages in so much psychological warfare against his opponent rather than simply killing him the first time they meet The answer, of course, is because then this story would be about 55 pages shorter.Unfortunately, such a question raises a glaring flaw with the narrative structure here Koontz injects a pair of twins hiking through the Mojave, simply to try and ratchet up the tension and give Nameless a pair of damsels in distress But here s the kicker they re so pointless to the events surrounding them and have so little agency that they could be removed from the story completely and change the narrative not a whit They are literally there just to beef up the already slim page count, and so they can become endangered and in need of saving Hell, they can t even pass the Bechdel test to save their own lives There s a level of mundanity to the characters here that really make this a hard story to recommend Nameless, a clairvoyant amnesiac acting as a hired gun for a secret group, really should be way interesting than he actually is He s surprisingly dull to read about, to the point that I think Lifeless would be a better name for him I can t help but wonder if after years of being called the poor man s Stephen King Koontz has decided to reimagine himself as the poor man s Lee Child, this after flirting for so many years with the idea of becoming the canine community s poor man s Joel Osteen Frankly, I m not sure it s much of an improvement, and two books into the Nameless series I m not convinced it was a very good idea Even Oxenwald fails at being an interesting serial killer, simply because he s the type of bad guy with strange sexual urges and dysfunctions that Koontz has been writing about for decades and decades now, including the prior Nameless entry, In the Heart of the Fire.There s always been an odd view of sex in Koontz s works, with his villains consistently dysfunctional, but his prim and proper hero seems just as dysfunctional at times For instance, when a waitress flirts with Nameless, an ostensibly sexless 35 year old man, he can only think of her as a licentious woman who will regret devaluing herself, and it s such a harsh and oddball judgement that I can t help but think it says of Koontz than Nameless Like, how dare she flirt What a whore This viewpoint seems to command a whole section of the narrative later in the story when the twins have a hard time composing themselves at the sight of a shirtless Oxenwald, continually needing to remind themselves they re both soon to be married, as if on the verge of dropping their panties at the mere sight of some bare chested man candy It s been a number of years since I turned my back on Koontz stories, but I had hoped that with the Netflix styled simultaneous release of these six Nameless novellas I would find a Koontz back in my good graces, the good Koontz from the 80s and 90s whose work I d loved Unfortunately, I m reminded and of why I stopped reading his work in the first place As a second installment in the Nameless series, Photographing the Dead offers only of the same trite, formulaic roteness as a number of earlier Koontz works and thousands of other generic serial killer thrillers, and exactly zero reasons to continue on with four of these things And speaking as somebody who was actually kind of jonesing to read these new Koontz releases, I have to say that reading Photographing the Dead back to back with In the Heart of the Fire now feels like overkill It was too much Koontz much too soon On the bright side, at least it was a short read and it had none of the pseudo religious dog worshiping nonsense I was expecting from a post 2000 Koontz release, so I m going to quit while I m ahead here. Photographing the Dead is the second story in Dean Koontz s Nameless series Like the first story, you can read this one in less than hour We get to know a little about the main character and the formidable group who directs him as they chase another psychopath This time the evil target is a young photographer, with a huge inheritance that allows him to travel the country taking photographs of nature while he hunts his victims Palmer Oxenwald is truly disturbed He was sent away to a private asylum as a teenager in failed attempt to cure his inhuman cruelty He enjoyed torturing small animals to death, photographing the torture and reliving the bloodshed over and over again through the pictures He graduated to killing people and became a true Koontz villain He is an avatar of Death He has a duty to kill What would the world be if Death chose not to cull the herd of humanity..He is not fearful He is an avatar of Death, Death incarnate, and Death fears nothing Nameless is still a young man, probably mid thirties, but not a large or powerful man He is directed by the Ace of Diamonds who has lots of resources and technology at their disposal They relentlessly track Oxenwald with the intention to eliminate him in a way that is fitting revenge for all of his past sins They are not focused on legality but on justice The plot is fast paced and the tension builds as Nameless and his faceless team close in As in the previous story, they outsmart evil rather than overpower it We still do not learn what has erased his memory but there is a short scene near the end where he has a vision of woman and two children, one with a floppy eared rabbit in her hand, a scene which we first saw in the first story, and portends to end in a bad way I expect we will come back to this in future stories This is another entertaining read from an American master. So, I read this second installment in the Nameless series much faster than the first one That is in part because this story is interesting, has moving parts, and has a better villain, but my quick reading is also because I wanted to see if Koontz was going to challenge himself a bit.He did not.In his 1981 book HOW TO WRITE BEST SELLING FICTION, Koontz advises writers to h it your hero with startling and or frightening complications, one after the other Be tough on him 132.Koontz usually follows his own advice, crafting long and thrilling action sequences in which the hero is outmatched but keeps fighting, and must be creative to defeat the villain.In the two Nameless tales so far, Koontz s hero defeats the villains easily Perhaps Koontz is making a point about evil s inherent weakness, but it feels a bit like he was just trying to write a few quick tales.So, why four stars It s a fast read, satisfying in its exacting of poetic justice, and at times fun It could get a bit mileage out of its scenario, but most readers will be pleased with how quickly the tale is set up and completed.As a final note, I like the nameless protagonist because he doesn t believe in mercy He wants to punish the wicked He is an instrument of justice Koontz could go further with this and will perhaps arc this character toward forgiveness, but for now the hero is satisfying in his primal eye for an eye ethos. I think I liked this book even than the first one in this series of short stories The same vigilante savior is after a ruthless and sadistic serial killer while the killer is out hunting for his next victim The vigilante might not be sadistic in his ways of killing an enemy but the people that are commanding him and the people that are facilitating the kills are certainly into revenge The story is becoming broader and I really enjoyed the ideas that they are wrestling with I got two great quotes off of this book and really think Dean Koontz is in his element Slightly atmospheric, slightly supernatural, his killers are vicious and crazy in every sense of the word This is the Dean Koontz I am here for The one who made me cheer when Jane Hawk was at her peak, the one who shows me a man who has written tons of books, than can be held in single pages, can keep coming up with stuff that blows us away A few months back I read his short story for Kindle Unlimited and I could see he was still a great writer, but that story left me wanting This story is not like that at all I enjoyed it and hope the rest continue in this great vein of thriller writing with some of his intellectual observations about the world in general. Book 2 of Dean Koontz s Nameless series This one follows Nameless as he hunts down a photograph loving killer D Very fun stuff I particularly liked how this one ended Now that was some poetic justice right there this book, and all the others it seems, has some basic info on Nameless worked into the series Like how he doesn t know who he is was and stuff like that Which, is really good if you re reading the stories out of order Do people actually do that Sounds nuts to me Lol Jk I automatically like anyone who reads any sort of lit as a pastime I m always amazed when people say they don t like reading I m all huh Anyway A good thing if people read out of order Just a bit annoying if you re listening to the stories back to back like I was This was a really good story I particularly liked the phone call part, with the doctor and the governor That was very well done D Highly recommended for fans of Dean Koontz, thrillers, short stories, and audible books Ya ll should definitely check out the audiobooks Very fun listening.