Gateway to Hell

Members' book reviews and comments
Garry Holmes
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Joined: Sat 23 Jul, 2005 12:17:18

Gateway to Hell

Postby Garry Holmes » Sat 20 Aug, 2005 11:45:36

Although not the last in story order, this is the last book that DW wrote about the '3 Modern Musketeers'. What drove him back to them after apparently ending the series in 'Dangerous Inheritance'? It is interesting to note that the film version of Devil Rides Out had appeared only a few years before, and all of the most powerful scenes from the film version (the rescue from the black mass, the night in the pentacle, the climax) have counterpoints in this book. The structure of the story is much more straightforward and linear than some in this series, and it''s not inpossible that he was thinking in terms of a film adaption.
As usual, DW does a good job of fitting the story into the continuity of the rest of the series. That said there are a few dangling threads--does Simon really get married after the end of the book?
This is probably Richard''s strongest appearance. In the rest of the series he does have a tendency to tag behind the others; here he comes across as intelligent and determined--at least until the Duc appears, when he vanishes into the background again. Simon and Richard actually push the story forward for the first third of the book, with De Richleau then taking over as the main character. Marie Lou is kept off stage, whilst Rex has to make do with what is almost a cameo. The Duc never appears more like a superhero than he does here. Nipping out of body at regualar intervals, hypnotizing people and even exploding bullets with the power of his mind, at time he seems like the Marvel Comics hero, Dr Strange.
The race war angle would have been very current when the book was originally published, although in the era of Samuel L Jackson, Will Smith and Halle Berry it does seem rather dated. Overall a very entertaining romp. Not tip-top Wheatley, but trying hard.

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