Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Read: "Fringe: the Zodiac paradox" by Christa Faust

Read: Fringe: The Zodiac paradox by Christa Faust, 2013, 9781781163092.

Tie-in to the TV series.  I've only watched about 15 total minutes of the show but I enjoy Faust's work.  I bought this one for work and need to return it.

It's 1968 and Walter Bishop and William Bell are grad students testing their own experimental hallucinogen.   A night time experiment next to a lake is intended to test, or create, the possibility of, for lack of a better phrase, mind-reading and emotional empathy.

Meanwhile, in an alternate universe, the Zodiac killer is tripping on acid and preparing to murder a young couple parked by a lake.  Ambushed by the police the Zodiac beats feet into the woods by the lake.  Walter and Bell's mushroom mind meld musters open a pathway between the two universes.  Zodiac falls through the hole when escaping the police.  Walter experiences Zodiac's memories, thoughts, and even his future.  Zodiac beats up Walter and Bell and Zodiac takes off.

Years later, in 1974, Walter and Bell are presenting a paper at UC-Berkeley.  Neither guy knows much about the Zodiac killer.  Neither guy was sure if there lakeside experience in 1968 was a hallucination.  While at their conference they hear about Zodiac and put things together.  Walter is determined to stop the killer.

Walter recalls one of those mind meld memories of Zodiac murdering people coming off a bus.  With the help of Nina Sharp in San Francisco they figure out where the shooting is to happen.  They get there early.  They stop Zodiac.  Zodiac beats them up again but drops his coded diary.

More chasing ensues.  Walter is slovenly and socially inept.  The FBI gets involved.  Walter really digs a psychedelic band.  Hallucinogens ensue.  Zodiac is a nasty dude.  Nina and Bell sex ensues.  Shifty FBI antics ensue. Innocents die. Zodiac is killed.  Walter and Bell and Nina avoid legal trouble.  FBI starts the Fringe Unit.

1: The copy editor fell asleep during some parts of this.
2. 911 anachronism.  Or not, depending on when the system was put into use in SF or Berkeley.
3. The chase sequence early in the book with Zodiac kept me quite interested.  I cannot say why.  I think it is because Faust knows what she is doing.
4.  Faust had a comment about her Supernatural tie-in saying that she had to add in something to keep her interested in the story.  She added a hot Hispanic chick character to that novel.  No one like that this time.  Unless I missed it.
5.  I presume there are several characters in here that appear in the TV show.  I wouldn't know.
6.  I distract myself wondering which characters show up in the TV show.
7.  Lots of Bay Area detail and geography.
8.  Lots of character for Walter.

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