Written by John Passarella | Published by Titan Books | Paperback, 336pp | RRP £7.99
With fiction based on television series like Grimm it’s interesting that these stories can be placed between episodes, and in ways we never know these investigations even took place and what effects they had upon the characters. Grimm: The Chopping Block by John Passarella comes at the end of season two, between The Walking Dead and Goodnight, Sweet Grimm and while we may wonder how these events could be fit in within such important episodes it’s still a good tale to be told.
When human bones are found in the forest Nick Burkhardt and his partner Hank Griffin are given the investigation to work out just who the body is and what happened to them. When more bodies start to appear not only in the forest but in other parts of the city though they soon discover that there are signs the people have been cooked and prepared for a meal. While all of this is going on Monroe has a visit from an old friend Decker who Monroe tries to help in the ways of fitting into society and not eating human victims. As Nick and Hank get closer to the truth, will Monroe manage to help his friend, or will he be dragged into something much darker than anybody could have foreseen.
I find it interesting with Grimm: The Chopping Block that through the written word the violence in the book can be much more descriptive and gory, but not too gory. Obviously aimed at the audience of the Grimm television show this is a dark tale of cannibalism and secret societies with a taste for human meat. The investigation into the murders is interesting because it’s slow paced and as this society of cannibals has been in existence for hundreds of years they know how to hide their events, which only last a matter of time. There is always a feel that Nick and Hank are running out of time and this case may just be too big for them.
As we are in the third season of Grimm now it’s interesting to remember back to where they were at the point where the story is based. For fans of this show this is obviously something they can remember, but what about for people who aren’t as experienced in the show? The author John Passarella actually does a good job keeping the reader up to date with who the characters are, what has happened to them and what their connections are within the group of characters we meet in Grimm: The Chopping Block. There is a danger of repetition when an author has to re-tread storyline elements for the show, but his concise way of getting the reader up to speed makes it easy to know just the right amount of information you need to know to enjoy the book.
Grimm: The Chopping Block is an entertaining read for Grimm fans and for people who aren’t that experienced in the television show. It would be an advantage to have seen Grimm of course, but it’s still possible to understand what is going on and to not feel lost in the tale of cannibalism and murder. I found the themes and concept of Grimm: The Chopping Block interesting because of the obvious reference to old Victorian practices of having banquets where rare beasts were dined upon, and it was a nice twisted version of things that would have happened throughout history, just without the monsters and cannibalism of course. Fun for fans and people new to Grimm, The Chopping Block is a well written adventure not afraid to venture into the darker side of Grimm’s mythology.
Grimm: The Chopping Block by John Passarella is released in the UK on February 28th courtesy of Titan Books.