Saturday, February 26, 2011

Green Candles

Title: Green Candles
Writer: Tom De Haven
Art Work: Robin Smith
Publisher: Paradox Graphic Mystery
Green Candles is the type of mystery graphic novel that I like.  It’s lengthy, it has nicely drawn characters, and the story moves at a nice pace.  The story centers on private detective John Halting, who is asked by schoolteacher Grace Penny to investigate strange photos she is receiving in the mail.  The photos are of a green candle, and in every new picture sent it is burning down slowly.  Grace Penny assumes that it is coming from someone in her past, and that when the candle burns out someone will kill her.  While focusing on Grace, the graphic novel also has other sub-stories that allow the reader to see how complex the life of detective Halting is.  The sub-stories that are included are about how John is dealing with his divorce, his relationship with his daughter, and helping his friend find his runaway son.
I really appreciated the sub-stories because it allowed for more twists and turns throughout the whole novel.  As writer Tom De Haven said in the introduction of the book, he wanted to create a story that would allow for a series of other books to come.  Thus by adding the sub-stories he didn’t make the life of John one dimensional or limited to one book, but has created the possibility for more stories of the detective.  I liked the ending of this book because it solved the mystery of who was sending the photos in a clever and smart way.  That’s a characteristic of a good mystery novel, having the ability to make the ending a surprise whose revelation makes everything clear.  I really enjoyed this novel and would definitely recommend it to people that like smart mysteries.
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