A Gripping Prequel to a Frustrating & Excellent Series: Lucky Day by Barry Lyga
Imagine blithely driving down the freeway when without warning your car begins shaking, rattling faster and faster; you’re doing your best to remain calm as sweat forms on your forehead and your hands tremble. Then boom, flap, flap, flap. Something’s terribly wrong, control’s barely there and you know the outcome isn’t looking rosy.
(Editor’s Note: That actually happened to Sandra last week.)
That’s akin to my experience at the conclusion of Barry Lyga’s Game, the second in his I Hunt Killers Trilogy. The first, I Hunt Killers, ended with resolution and the knowledge that the sequel was on hand, ready and waiting.
Conversely, Game ended like a blowout on the freeway.
What in the name of all that’s creepy, frightening and gripping happened with that thrilling, brutally-cliffhangerific book?
I grumbled, complained and snarked about Lyga’s gall in stopping in the midst of a horrific scene, one where a character loved by the reader, namely me, metaphorically hangs off a cliff not by her hand but by her finger.
No resolution’s in sight until the third book, Blood of My Blood, releases on September 9, 2014.
Yes, I am still mad about that ending.
My angst about the series didn’t stop me from picking up Lucky Day, the prequel novella to I Hunt Killers. I put aside my distrust, resentment and frustration and delved into it, not expecting increased insight into the two books I’d read.
Lesson learned. Be careful of random conclusions, you may prove yourself wrong.
The prologue to Lucky Day weaves the history of Lobo’s Nod, the city where the crimes occur, into a tapestry that spreads across the pages into the dark heart of Billy Dent an outstanding resident and macabre serial killer. Lies abound circling the town like a fog obscuring truth and keeping it at bay. Even the town’s name is an untruth.
The reality of the founding of Lobo’s Nod is closely allied with the lie; the very best lies share bed space with the truth, taking on their scent and their mannerisms becoming indistinguishable from each other.
Few people in Lobo’s Nod knew or cared about the historical truth of their town. Reality and truth remained lost in its shadowed past. The exception, Sheriff G. William Tanner, learned the truth from his dearly loved, now deceased wife. He respected and liked knowing the truth, regardless of where it led.
And, it led Sheriff Tanner onto the murky trail of a serial killer who took lives to quell his unquenchable thirst for death.
Methodically, the sheriff of Lobo’s Nod unearths the soulless truth that is Billy Dent, a sordid truth Billy skillfully hides. Lies deeper and uglier than the town could mask emerge snapping together to build a solid case against Citizen Dent.
Lucky Day can be easily read in one sitting. Whether you have or have not read the books that follow is of little importance.
Reading the prequel increased my understanding of I Hunt Killers and Game.
And, of course, made me even more impatient about the series conclusion that's still months away.
It matters little if you read Lucky Day as a prequel or as a resource to better understand the trilogy. It provides excellent storytelling that can easily stand on its own merit, so I can’t help but begrudgingly recommend yet another installment in this gripping and frustrating series.
Note: This novella appears to only be available as a Kindle Single.