In many ways, The Devil's Weekend reminds me of an episode of an old TV anthology . . . a little Tales from the Crypt, but more Tales from the Darkside. Jim takes two simple concepts (a serial killer & a deal with the devil), mashes them together, and then runs with it, dragging the reader though one crazy weekend. In the end, we’re left with the kind of cliffhanger ending that makes you want to scratch his eyes out . . . even as you find yourself smiling in perverse delight.
The premise is a fun as it is simple. He takes a serial killer nearing the end of his career, one who fully understands that capture is only hours away, and offers him a deal with the devil. In exchange for the usual price, he is provided with one weekend to run amok, with no fear of being stopped, captured, killed, or even harmed.
Of course, the devil is a sneaky bastard, and there’s more than one deal being offered that weekend.
In many ways, this reads like a short story that overstepped its bounds, but Jim freely admits to that in his notes. It’s a bit of an experiment, a personal indulgence on his part, which accounts for some of the minor narrative flaws and lapses of logic. It’s the kind of story that loses a bit of lustre if you think about it for too long but, like those old TV episodes, one that keeps you reaching gleefully for the popcorn until you reach the end.
A fun read, well-told, that definitely kept me entertained.