Condemned Review

Condemned - Michael McBride

While this isn't a favorite of mine, it is very readable. Michael McBride's prose is as gorgeous as ever, but this time it's only a fancy paint job on an empty house. It comes down to personal preference for me. I enjoyed McBride's creature-features far more than this by-the-numbers thriller. Sunblind was a breath of fresh air, and Snowblind was big fun. But this whole Dante-as-inspiration-for-a-serial-killer is a bit overused. I've read this exact premise five times in as many years, and the soliloquies regarding Detroit came off heavy-handed and preachy, as if I was being thunder-fucked into agreeing with a message I'd already agreed with ten times over. I get it. Detroit will never return to its heyday. White people are the devil. Is this a thriller or a Michael Moore documentary?

The killer's identity was awfully predictable, as well. In a book like this, the killer is always a cop. And if the narrator is friends with a cop, that cop will be the killer. Every. Fucking. Time. I think that spoiled this read for me more so than even the preachy narration.

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In summation: Fans of movies like Se7en and books by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child should find Condemned right up their alley. Be prepared for chapter after chapter of "Detroit is not salvageable" messages. I enjoy pessimism as much as the next asshole, but even I collapsed under the weight of this sermon.

Final Judgment: Lincoln Park covers "In the Ghetto".