TIPPIN’ HANCOCK’S HAT-Reviews of All Things Pulp by Tommy Hancock
‘Dillon and The Judas Chalice’
by Derrick Ferguson
Exclusive Author Released Short Story
In the New Pulp genre, there are a handful of characters that already have some name recognition, a following of fans eager for the next drop of pulpy goodness from this harbinger of action and adventure. One such character is Dillon, the all around jack of all trades hero type from the wonderful mind and world of Derrick Ferguson. Every time Ferguson speaks of Dillon on the Book Cave or his blog or wherever, murmurs begin about new Dillon, the next Dillon, untold tales of Dillon, etc. and so forth. This story is just such an event, one that was written by Ferguson as a birthday gift to all his friends and fans.
And what a gift it is!
This story opens with Dillon on a high speed chase, both chasing something and being chased by probably every law enforcement agency in the world. After this chase ends and Dillon saves the day in his own balls to the wall fashion, he is whisked away by a notorious millionaire who tells him of a wonderful artifact-the Judas Chalice, a cup made from the silver Judas Iscariot took for betraying Jesus Christ. This item allegedly will give its bearer whatever it wants as long as the bearer betrays those around them, the millionaire once its bearer, but now a victim of its power. Dillon, more out of an instant affection for the vile traitorous soul he’d just met than anything else, undertakes the mission to retrieve the Chalice, stolen by the millionaire’s former right hand man and his own traitorous wife.
What ensues at this point is one of the best all around rollicking roller coasters I’ve read in the short story form in a while. Dillon and his cohorts, including the millionaire’s own daughter, are complete and fully realized, full of facets and levels that are often hard to capture in just a few pages. The bad guys have all they need to have as well, being driven by their own desires, but even in the end, being basically people overwhelmed by their own urges. Explosions, gunfights, treachery, destruction, close calls, near misses, it’s all here! And that even includes hints and rumors about a mysterious group who hold a whole lot of power and sway!
The only drawback I found to this tale was the opening. It sets a tone for who Dillon is and what a day in his life would be like, but it was also distracting from what the story became. It set a stage, but it didn’t connect really well to what came later and showed Dillon’s skills, but somehow was more of a ‘oh, well, ok, he can drive fast’ than something that added weight to the blockbuster that followed. Even with that, though, this story is CANNOT MISS because the last 2/3 or so blow most full length novels out of the water.
FOUR OUT OF FIVE TIPS OF THE HAT-The beginning might be a little clunky, but overall the story is a fist in your face and an uppercut to your gut! Awesome stuff!