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  • TITLE: Drago Descending
  • AUTHOR: Greg Gifune


    Close your eyes.

    Now picture your first appointment with a private detective from the hard boiled school. I don't care who you conjure—Marlowe, Spade, Hammer, Milodragovitch—we're all holding hands with the setting, personal hygiene, and attitude of this canonized shamus. Now put your world-weary PI in his fedora and trenchcoat, one hand fisting a bottle of bourbon, the other a .38, leaning back on a scarred desk full of unpaid bills and the pillow he sleeps on at night. Go ahead and add the mental spasms of a Silver Star-studded Gulf War nightmare and the still-pined-for dame back home going from Prom Queen to Pole Dancer to Bye-Bye. Now fill in the peripherals like a resident pass to the VA psycho zone, a cashmere-coated client who's not quite like us, strong-arming porn stars and sleazeball producers for clues and pointers, and sniffing around satanic ritual sets looking for backroom deals.

    Okay, now think up the most celebrated battle between mythical forces. I'm not talking Ali wearing down Foreman here. I'm saying think wider than Grendel's ass after he's beaten with his own, torn-off arm, and taller than a pile of dead Orcs when Gondor verses Mordor finally winds down.

    Got it?

    See, this is the slaughterfest between God's process server and the “office manager in Hades” (Fiction Works, ISBN 9781581247176, c.2002, p.123).

    Stir this anagogic brew with cars that won't start, pizza for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, constant rain, witnesses that lie, unwanted flashbacks, unresolved guilt, unrequited love, enemies that won't die, and victims that laugh when you kill them.

    That's Drago Descending.

    It's 189 pages of pure, neo-noir joy; a quick throw-down on the sullied, mean streets. A primer, really, and an honorarium to the past, posted with author Gifune's unique genre cross-stitching. Supernatural Horror? Hard-Boiled Crime? Or, a memoir from a guy sitting on the ward, watching lizards crawl the walls? “Faith, essentially, is our last line of defense” (p.125), says one character, summing it up.

    Or is that summoning it up?

    You decide.


    © copyright 01/28/2009 by Larry Crawford

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