cover image The Kolchak Papers: The Original Novels

The Kolchak Papers: The Original Novels

Jeff Rice. Moonstone Press, $16.95 (285pp) ISBN 978-1-933076-29-4

Moonstone, which has published two collections of short stories and an original novel featuring journalist/supernatural sleuth Carl Kolchak, has reissued the two 1970s novels, in one of which he made his debut. The first, The Night Stalker, chronicles the Las Vegas reporter's first brush with the otherworldly, as his probe into a series of murders convinces him that an actual vampire is responsible. His theorizing, predictably, runs afoul of the local authorities, who seem more concerned with the risk to the tourist trade than solving the crimes. Kolchak's acerbic and cynical first-person narration is engaging, and the action is fast-paced. The second novel, The Night Strangler, which Kolchak creator Rice actually adapted from a Richard Matheson teleplay, is derivative of the first. The venue is now Seattle, but Kolchak, along with most of his supporting cast from Las Vegas, is again butting heads with his superiors and the police as he attempts to track down a killer draining blood from young women. Fans of the cult TV series starring Darren McGavin, as well as its better known successors like ""The X-Files,"" should enjoy the author's blend of horror and humor.