Dark Road Rising
P. N. Elrod
Ace, Sep 2009, $15.00
In 1938 Chicago, Jack Fleming is trying to recover from the worst trauma of his life. To add to his problems The New York mob sent Gabe "Whitey" Kroun to the Windy City to kill Jack as retaliation for killing one of their associates. In addition to worrying about that, Jack’ best friend Charles Escott ends up in the hospital with severe life threatening injuries. Gabe gets turned into a vampire before he can kill Jack but a bullet in his head limits his skills. Jack has to deal with him while handling other threats that come his way.
Time and place are captured through the vernacular though perhaps mobster talk is a bite or two overdone. Still readers will enjoy the escapades of a sensitive vampire whose vulnerabilities make him fresh as he stands out from the supernatural crowd; yet he seems to end up in mob messes that require a hard boiled Noir reaction from him when all he wants to do is spend nights at his club Lady Crymyn. The pathos of the three males will stun the audience as P.N. Elrod follows up SONG IN THE DARK with more dangerous adventures on the mean COLD STREETS of Chicago at a time when Capone was a guest at Alcatraz, but danger remains high.