Friday, March 15, 2013

Dark Road Rising by P.N. Elrod

Dark Road Rising appears to be the final novel in the Vampire Files series by Elrod. There may be a novella or short story (seen on Goodreads) out there, but I'm guessing it will be a bit tough to locate. There are a number of loose ends from earlier books to be wrapped up in this novel, and for the most part they get taken care of by the end.

The New York mob thinks that Whitey Kroun is dead, killed in a car bomb attack. They send some of their top enforcers, who were friends with Kroun, down to Chicago to investigate and punish those responsible, whom they perceive to be Jack. Whitey, who survived due to the fact that he is also a vampire, would rather remain dead and get out of the mob the only way possible, but in order to save Jack's life, he has to reveal that he has survived the blast.

Jack wants to find out more from Whitey about "life" as a vampire, but we come to realize that Whitey has some serious gaps in his memory, and his knowledge of vampiric abilities is spotty, and he seems to have lost any recollection of how he became one. Whitey was a truly nasty piece of work when he was truly alive, but now as an undead he seems to be pretty decent, with a reluctance to kill in the unemotional way that made him a great mob enforcer. He drags Jack along as he tries to find out more about his past, and what he uncovers there is truly horrifying.

It seemed a little odd that Jack started out as a pretty decent guy, and remained much the same after his transformation, while Whitey began as a monster, but was much improved after death. Perhaps it had something to do with the bullet in his head which he never was able to get rid of, which also keeps him from vanishing like Jack does.

A pretty good story to close out the saga, while leaving the door open for further adventures with Jack & Bobbi in Hollywood someday.

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