Shooting At Midnight has to be one of the most structurally interesting novels I’ve ever read. The first section of the story is told from the perspective of Atticus Kodiak’s friend and on-again-off-again lover Bridgett Logan. We learn about her past as a heroin addict as she gets pulled back into that criminal underworld as she tries to help a friend who has gotten herself in some trouble with a couple of bad people. Things escalate quickly and as the spit is truly about to hit the fan the structure flips and the narration is handed over to Atticus Kodiak as he searches for Logan, who has gone missing.

This structure allows for a frightening level of suspense. Greg Rucka is the kind of writer who will kill off a character with little buildup simply because that is the way death often is. There is a very good chance that when the point of view changed it was because Bridgett didn’t make it out alive. I don’t consider it a spoiler to say that she doesn’t wind up dead but her circumstances make it so that giving her the first person perspective wouldn’t have worked well for the novel. Instead we get to see every angle of the story and are better off for it. When the novel returns to Logan’s POV, we get a very direct idea of how the events in the book have affected everyone. Perception is handled very differently depending on the POV and it makes for some quite engaging reading.

Taking the time to switch the focus from Kodiak to Logan gives the series an interesting sort of intermission. After the crazy escalation in “Smoker” it is a logical step to dial the story back in a different way to let the readers adjust themselves. Things got so heavy in the previous book that much of the relationship drama between Logan and Kodiak got put on the back burner. This book is essentially dedicated to handling that element of the story and giving it the proper due. I appreciated that.

I don’t know many series that will take a detour like this and be better for it. It is a testament to Rucka’s skill as a writer that he can keep a hold on his characters by doing something unexpected.

Advertisements