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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Double Image by David Morrell



No one, and I mean no one in modern fiction does a better job of creating the "man on the run" story line than David Morrell. He creates tension and paranoia in his stories that make the reader turn the page. This story is no different in that respect. But, it does have a horrible flaw.

Double Image features photographer Mitch Coltrane. He mostly does news photography but is also quite the talented artistic photographer. When the story starts, Coltrane is in Bosnia photographing Dragan Ilkovic, a war criminal whose men are digging up mass graves in order to more properly dispose of them. Coltrane gets his pictures, barely escapes with his life and decides that it is time to get out of the news business because the sights are starting to give him nightmares.

In the meantime, his pictures cause Ilkovic to become an international criminal. Ilkovic comes to Los Angeles to hunt down Coltrane and Morrell's strengths as an author come to the fore - Coltrane is on the run and death and destruction rain down upon the Los Angeles area as they play a cat and mouse game.  Vintage Morrell and it is only the first half of the book.

The second half is about a famous photographer that is dying from old age that Coltrane meets at a showing. Coltrane and this photographer decide to re-do a famous set of pictures that this man took in the 1930 featuring Los Angeles area homes (one of those "then and now" type of features). In an increasingly convoluted plot line, Coltrane ends up buying one of the homes (which was owned by the aged photographer who has since died), discovers a collection of hundreds and hundreds of photographs of a stunning 1930s actress, meets her granddaughter who looks exactly like her and ends up in another whirlwind of stalking, mayhem and death.

Like I said, lots of good action, but this story just went beyond all hope of credulity.

I rate this book 3 stars out of 5.

This book can be found on Amazon.com here: Double Image

Reviewed on July 19, 2011.

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