And Then I Read: RESIDENT ALIEN Vol. 3

ResAlienImage © Peter Hogan & Steve Parkhouse.

The premise of this series is simple but very effective. There’s an alien masquerading as a small town doctor in southwestern America. That’s him on the cover. Thing is, he can mentally hide his true appearance, so no one (or almost no one) can see that’s how he really looks. To most people he seems quite human. We the readers know he’s not. To complicate matters, a team of government agents are on his trail, though he doesn’t know it yet. And a few people can see him as he really is, but the alien can’t tell who unless they say something about it to him.

So, what does he do, other than doctoring? He solves mysteries. The one in this volume involves a hard boiled crime novelist who is reported to have lived in this small town once, but vanished mysteriously. The alien is a fan of the author’s books, and sets about tracking him. The trail leads in unexpected places. The tensions of the story are delicious, with so much potential disaster all around the alien, yet somehow he manages to come across as very likable and human, someone you can’t help rooting for. He has no evil agenda, he’s stuck here and trying to survive. Kind of a mash-up of “The Fugitive” and “The X-Files,” I suppose.

Both the writing and the art are excellent. You can start with any volume and have a great time. Recommended.

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