Saturday, 31 March 2001

K.W. Jeter: Death Arms (1987)

Edition: Grafton, 1989 (Buy from Amazon)
Review number: 793

In many ways, Death Arms is very similar to Jeter's first novel, Dr Adder. In both novels, an outsider from society with a remarkable father (in this case, an assassin) travels to the ruins of a wrecked Los Angeles where, among the bizarre people that he meets, he is able to come to some sort of understanding of who he is and what legacy his father has left him.

Death Arms is distinctly less successful, and less interesting to read (though in part re-reading it soon after Dr Adder is producing this effect). It is far less violent, but has a creepy element not present in the earlier novel: the best writing in it is the description of the reanimation of the thousands of dead insects around a building by psychic Rachel. This sort of thing again makes it not for the squeamish.

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