Saturday, January 29, 2011

Book #6

Dark Road Rising, by P.N. Elrod. Paperback.

I don't read a ton of vampire novels -- my LibraryThing.Com account has 31 books tagged as such -- but I enjoy this series. The setting, gangland Chicago in the thirties, sets it apart. The books end up being part noir, part horror. It's a unique mix, and I like it.

This novel picks up where Song in the Dark leaves off. Main character Jack Fleming has just been in a bloody fight with his PI partner Escott that put Escott on the critical list, and the arrival of new vampire Whitey Kroun in Chicago has put Fleming on edge to a new degree.

This is a dark novel, as both Kroun and Fleming are put through a range of physical and emotional torture. But nobody picking up a vampire novel should be surprised by this. And the rough things the characters go through do serve their development and the overall plot structure. I could be wrong, but from what I can remember of the 11 prior novels in the series, this one is the first that includes POV sections that are other than Fleming's first person -- Kroun is given maybe 20% of the POV on the novel. That took a little getting used to, as it made the work less personal than the priod novels, but it enabled Elrod to take on a larger scope.

It's possible that this novel serves as the end of the series, as many things are wrapped up, and it ends with Fleming and girlfriend Bobbi heading out of Chicago. Whether the author is planning to pick up the series in the new setting I don't know. But if she does produce a new Vampire Files novel, I will be there to read it.

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