It’s been four years since I read the first book in Don Pendleton’s Ashton Ford series, Ashes to Ashes; in it, I said I had another in the series, the third. However, I must have been mistaken or I might have not put that in the series grouping the last time I deeply cleaned and reorganized my to-read shelves six years ago, as this is #4 in the series, and I also have picked up #6 somewhere.
In this book, Ashton Ford investigates murders occurring around a new Age style preacher who, with some wealthy production backers, is building a worldwide multimedia organization. And she’s gorgeous and also gifted on the paranormal spectrum. As Ashton mucks around, he finds that church members, the woman’s family, and a group of early Hollywood actors and actresses are intertwined, with the results leading to murder which might or might not be precipitated by other worldly spirit guides including maybe the father Ashton never new.
So it’s less action-packed than other investigative or suspense series that Pendleton did, and it’s a little woo-woo for my tastes. As Ashton has astral sex with the woman while she’s locked up in jail and seemingly impregnates her leaving her still a virgin, one wonders if the next two volumes in the series have a big wrap-up story line that I’ll only get when I pick up the last book in the series four years from now.
It reminds me of Dean Koontz’s Odd Thomas books–they started out with a premise and they could have been episodic, but they moved into being parts of an overarching story with the pregnant woman in Odd Hours and Odd Apocalypse. Which is where I kind of wandered off. I read Odd Apocalypse being eight years ago, and although I bought the last/latest book in the series, in 2018, I haven’t bothered to pick up the in-between book, Deeply Odd, in the interim. I wonder if I could find it if I looked in the fiction sections at the book sales I go to every year. Maybe, but I will likely not think of it in the spring.
So as to the Ashton Ford books, I’m glad I only have one remaining. It’s not a series I’d follow in real time. But by the time all is said and done, I will have read half of the series.