Walpurgis III by Mike Resnick

Walpurgis III by Mike Resnick: A lot of Resnick books are about a super criminal being hunted by a super bounty hunter/assassin in the far future, and this book is no exception. Luckily, this is the sort of story he tells very well. The trouble here is that the criminal (Conrad Bland) fancies himself Satan incarnate, intent on killing everything and everyone in his path. Which would be fine – his quotes at the beginning of each chapter are often scandalously amusing – but he’s decided to base himself on the planet Walpurgis, a haven for a large number of Satanic religions. This is where things get a little silly. Told from the alternating viewpoints of the assassin (Jericho) as he attempts to find Bland, and the chief of police (John Sable) as he tracks down Jericho for killing random civilians in his jurisdiction. There’s a little bit of “who’s more evil, the man who kills compulsively or the one who does it emotionlessly as a means to an end,” but this is overshadowed by the focus on the fairly ridiculous religious practices of the assorted sects of Satan-worshippers. I guess if you’re easily shocked and titillated, this might be a delightfully scandalous read, but I could have skipped this one and been none the worse for wear.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

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