Anyone who has spent much time visiting this blog will know that I enjoy Green’s writing – see my reviews of the other books in this series – The Dark Side of the Road, Very Important Corpses, Death Shall Come, Into the Thinnest of Air, Murder in the Dark, Till Sudden Death Do Us Part, Night Train to Murder, The House on Widow’s Hill and my review of his fantasy heist adventure, The Best Thing You Can Steal and The Man With the Golden Torc – so I was delighted to see the latest book in this paranormal murder mystery series.
BLURB: As long-buried memories from his hidden past begin to resurface, Ishmael Jones and his partner Penny feel compelled to return to the small country town where Ishmael crash-landed in 1963; the place where his memories began. Norton Hedley is no ordinary town. Apparitions, sudden disappearances, sightings of unusual beasts: for centuries, the place has been plagued by a series of inexplicable events. Ishmael’s first task is to track down local author Vincent Smith, the one man he believes may have some answers.
Ishmael and Penny aren’t the only ones seeking the mysterious Mr Smith. When their search unearths a newly-dead body in the local mortuary – a body that’s definitely not supposed to be there – Ishmael becomes the prime suspect in the ensuing murder investigation. His only hope of discovering the truth about his origins lies in exposing a ruthless killer.
REVIEW: I thoroughly enjoy Green’s clever mix of real tension and creepiness, along with touches of dark humour that at times have me laughing out loud. Ishmael is not human – he’s an alien that crashed to Earth in 1963 and has been trying to stay under the radar ever since. This has very much affected his choice to work for a number of shady organisations and consequently he mixes with some very dangerous people. These books could have been gritty and bleak – but Ishmael has been lucky enough to fall in love with the adorable Penny, who is now his sidekick and her company considerably lightens his violent adventures. Their teamwork and snarky interchanges particularly brightened things up during this creepy exploration into Ishmeal’s past. I was especially pleased to pick this one up, as Buried Memories addresses Ishmael’s origins on Earth. Due to the damage sustained by his spaceship, his memories of that time are very fragmentary. But he now believes that he wasn’t the only survivor and feels impelled to try to find his companion and learn more of why they visited Earth in the first place.
I think it’s really clever to have left his origin story so late in the series, as I’m now thoroughly invested in dear old Ishmael and Penny. So I was brimming with curiosity to discover exactly where he came from and why. It also is a nifty entry point if you haven’t had the pleasure of the previous adventures, which is always helpful for readers in a long-running series. I thoroughly enjoyed this one. As well as the spooky parody of the idyllic English village, peopled with some nicely eccentric characters, I very much appreciated the additional insights into what makes Ishmael tick. Recommended for fans of quirky paranormal creepiness that doesn’t take itself too seriously. While I obtained an arc of Buried Memories from the publishers via Netgalley, the opinions I have expressed are unbiased and my own.
I love the sound of this. Not sure I’m ready to start a new series, but I will definitely keep it in mind!
Thank you, Tammy:). It’s something very different, which I appreciate. And I love the humour mixed with the body count and tension. But there are so many books jostling for attention out there…
Well, speaking of paranormal mystery, an alien who crash-landed on Earth sounds like a new and very intriguing premise! Thanks for sharing 🙂
It’s great fun, Maddalena! Though I’m aware my mistake in the title may have mislead everyone – it SHOULD have great 10, instead of 1…
I’ve had my eye on this series since you started reviewing them. One day. Fantastic review!
Thank you, Anne – I think you’d really enjoy Green’s mix of horror and humour. It’s certainly quirky and different:).
I usually stay away from paranormal, but I bet I would like this one.
It’s certainly different:)). There’s a lovely relationship between Ishmael and Penny, with some nice chippiness between them, which constrasts with all the murder and mayhem.
Oh, a series by Simon R. Green I wasn’t aware of! But I’m not sure if this one is for me. I thoroughly enjoyed the Swords of Haven, but Drinking the Midnight Wine failed to suck me in despite great writing.
To be honest – I’m really not sure if this one would tick your boxes or not. As with all series, some of the books are better than others. But I have a real soft spot for Ishmael and Penny – partly because of the strong relationship between them.