If you guys are following my reviews this year, you’ll have seen a pattern where at least one of my reads per month is something older. I have quite a few beat up paperbacks by John Saul and he tended to be a pretty popular, although I’m not seeing his name around as much nowadays. I grabbed Black Lightning off my shelf a few weeks ago and think I made a poor life decision since many many reviewers have stated that it’s no where near his best work. It sounded interesting to me 🤷♀️
Here are my thoughts and why I’m adding Saul’s books to my giveaway pile now
Bookish Quick Facts:
- Title: Black Lightning
- Author: John Saul
- Original Release: Fawcett Books, 1995
- Length: 438 pages
- Rate & Recommend: ⭐⭐✨ ehhh I wouldn’t start Saul with this 🤷♀️
Here’s the synopsis from the back cover:
Something about this book just absolutely failed to draw me in. Around page 350 I finally became more interested – just to be disappointed by an abrupt and sort of lame ending that left me with questions as to the future of the characters.
Towards the start a poor description of 90s CPR didn’t help. I don’t know the medical history of resuscitation that well but I’m pretty sure the EMTs would have killed Glen. The idea of the spark of life does make a good plot point. I think it’s one of the more interesting serial killer motivations I’ve read, despite the overall book falling short.
It wasn’t a bad plot though, it just never grabbed me. There wasn’t much police procedural or investigation. We get a lot of running around and gore while the characters figure out what is going on. Twisted family secrets and the cycle of abuse at the core of the plot. I didn’t dislike the characters but it was hard to have an opinion on them one way or another.
Black Lightning is fairly gory and descriptive of said gore, which I’ve learned was Saul’s go-to in his earlier books. Reading animal torture turns me off quicker than anything (not the book’s fault) but it didn’t help me stay immersed as I mostly flipped through the – gosh how long does it take to describe what he’s doing to an animal? *Shivers* no thanks. It all fits right in with Saul’s evil entity plots though.
The rating comes from the fact that I just never felt drawn in, until around page 350 when we start seeing … The things. And the stuff. And the connections. The ending was also incredibly abrupt and unsatisfying despite a decent and fast paced build up to the final scenes.
I think by reading reviews that Saul has written better work but I’ve got over 800 unread books here and based off Black Lightning, I boxed them all up to pass on 🤷♀️ I don’t really love paranormal thrillers or horror and I can’t take much scarier than King (who is terrifying) and early Patterson (pretty gorey stuff). I’m glad I gave Saul’s work a chance though.
Thanks for checking out my book review of Black Lightning by John saul. This is a book that has been on my shelves forever and I’m just rambling on about it with no obligation, but as always, all opinions are my own ♥️