My Rating: 4/5
I've found another free gem, and another author to watch. Bob Moore: No Hero is the kind of story that makes me enthusiastic about digital publishing. It would never see the light of day in traditional publishing. It' too short. However, it's exactly the length it ought to be, and it's a thoroughly entertaining and worthwhile tale.
A blend of comic book tropes and gritty noir stylings, No Hero is the tale of an ordinary guy in a world where mad scientists and super heroes are commonplace. He's found his (very dangerous) niche in this new world: he's a private eye who specializes in investigating supers.
The opening gambit is brilliant and hilarious. Bob has been hired by "The Flamer" to spy on his sidekick. He's afraid she might be sidekicking for someone else. It turns out she's having a torrid affair with another superhero. Bob learns first-hand the dangers involved when you start snapping photos of people with super-hearing, who can fly and throw fireballs.
It's one of the funniest things I've read in months, but it has a serious undertone that sets the theme for the rest of the book. The supers know they're better than the rest of us. It makes them arrogant. They abuse their power almost automatically, bullying regular people with no more thought than you would give to putting your dog on a leash.
The bulk of the tale involves Bob being hired by a mad scientist whose patients have been disappearing. There's a baffling mystery, a looming sense of danger, and beneath it all a thoughtful exploration of the theme of power and its abuse. It's a comic-book world, but it's populated by complex, fascinating people.
There is now a sequel available, Bob Moore: Desperate Times.
Get Bob Moore: No Hero free at Amazon.
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