Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before – Edgar Allan Poe, The Raven
Why was that baleful Creature made, Which seeks our Quiet to invade, And screams ill Omens through the Shade? – Anne Kingsmill Finch, The Owl
Then we’re gonna need a bigger gun. – Roy Scheider
That Thing At The Zoo is the first James R. Tuck book (well, this is a novella) that I have read. The Deacon Chalk series has been being discussed on a couple of my goodreads Urban Fantasy discussion groups, and it sounded interesting. Being the first in the Chalk series, and at .99 for the novella, That Thing At The Zoo seemed the perfect way to get a taste of the series.
I wasn’t wrong. It was a perfect place to start, and of course, I now have yet another series added to my tottering TBR stacks. As if I needed more to read! Deacon Chalk is an Occult Bounty Hunter – he hunts the things that the normal police force of Atlanta either can’t handle, or don’t even know anything about. At 6’4” and round about 300 pounds, Deacon is one big tough guy, tattoos, shaved head and all. However, there is a lot of heart to the guy, as you soon find out. And his reasons for taking down the monsters will break your heart and give you a deeper understanding of the guy, huge-ass semi-redneck or not.
When we meet Deacon, he is standing under a tree in the Atlanta zoo, waiting for Jimmy the zookeeper to push something out of the branches. Something that turns out to be a 500 plus pound lion, skinned, drained, and ripped. What could have possibly drug that lion into the tree – and all without leaving a mark anywhere on the tree, or the ground?
With the remote assistance of his two cohorts, Kat, the manager of Deacon’s strip club Polecats, and a computer whiz, and Father Dominic Boru Mulcahy, a rather unusual Catholic Priest who moonlights as a bartender at the club (and who can shoot like a sniper and knife fight like a convict) Deacon and Jimmy the zookeeper (well, and a load of silver coated weapons) track down the creature decimating the Atlanta zoo.
Full of blood, fighting, and a dry sense of humour, the Deacon Chalk series starts off with a bang, and promises to fulfill its semi-redneck, violent, and creepily horrific opening in the upcoming installments. Part horror, part UF and all guts and glory, I am looking forward to reading the next in the series, Blood and Bullets soon.