Trying to recreate the feel of old pulp adventures, especially introducing a series character, can go one of two ways:
1. The writer tries too hard to be clever and infuses the character and series with nods and winks.
2. The writer actually hits the marks of the genre and never oversteps the bounds of the books it’s trying to be like.
Teel James Glenn’s THE FIRST SYNN: THE BLOODSTONE CONFIDENTIAL, the first entry in the Gideon Synn series, thankfully falls into category two. This feels like it could have easily been on the newsstands next to some of those old Street & Smith series.
Gideon Synn feels like an old pulp archetype, a mixture of Doc Savage and The Spider. That’s not to say the character is aping those two — just that the pulp heroes of that time are definitely an influence. The story focuses on Synn and his team as they are called upon by Charity Bloodstone. It seems the women in her family have been cursed, in that at the age of 25, they die, usually killed by a mysterious force like a ghost.
THE BLOODSTONE CONFIDENTIAL opens with Synn trying to protect Charity’s older sister from that fate, but to no avail. Now it’s time for Charity to turn 25, and she is scared. But even before Synn can even get into the case, he is attacked by unnamed assailants, and of course, there’s the requisite portion of some family members not wanting Synn involved.
The author really has a feel for the old-school pulps, while also giving us a nice little mystery. Not to spoil the story, since it’s a rather short and extremely quick read, but Glenn throws a little surprise at the readers at a great point so it doesn’t come out so cut-and-dry, so to speak, while also providing great character development of Synn and his team.
THE BLOODSTONE CONFIDENTIAL is a nice entry into this ebook series. Hopefully, Glenn can come up with enough clever plots and enemies to throw at Synn for numerous further adventures. —Bruce Grossman