Carl Kolchak was just your average reporter until the day he put two and two together and came up with evil. A reluctant paranormal investigator, Kolchak couldn't stop tripping over the unusual even if he wanted to. And for all of his efforts of seeking the truth... unemployment and ridicule have followed him like the plague.
Someone, or something, is tearing people up into little pieces in small town West Virginia. It's up to Kolchak to wade through the bloody-science jigsaw puzzle, while watching his back against an unseen foe! It's a cat and mouse game, as he battles a maelstrom of terror that everyone around him gets sucked into.
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Would make a great series finale
C.J. Henderson has always worked well with the supernatural mystery format, so he's a natural fit for the continuing adventures of that most down to earth of occult sleuths, the inestimable Carl Kolchak. His prose capture's Kolchak's unique voice perfectly, and the story does a great job of finally addressing the elephant in the room when it comes to explaining exactly why poor old Carl seems to run into monsters and mayhem everywhere he goes. In many ways this would make a terrific swan song for our knight in rumpled seersucker, neatly wrapping up the series with a nostalgic adventure in which many of Carl's more notable TV adversaries are name-checked.
Quite obviously, my favourite character has to be Carl Kolchak, who is so vividly drawn in this story that one can easily imagine Darren McGavin narrating the tale.
Sadly, Mark Kalita is no Darren McGavin. He doesn't even try to be which, given the quality of the sadly-missed former Kolchak's performance, is perhaps something to be welcomed. However, his voice and delivery is such a mismatch to the distinctive cadence of Carl's use of language that it does take some of the fun out of the tale. Next time, perhaps it would serve the story better to get someone with delivery a little closer to McGavins. Kalita is an adequate reader, but too avuncular to capture Kolchak's acerbic humour.
- Chris Halliday