This book was reviewed for Readers’ Favourite.
Drawing Dead, by Brian McKinley, is set in 1930s New York, a time when the Mafia ruled supreme in the area. We first meet Faolan O’Connor, a hitman known as ‘the Wolf’, as he is preparing to go out on a job to take out Dutch Schultz. Faolan himself is also marked for death this night, and he knows it. He happens to have been one of those responsible for Charlie Luciano’s brush with death that earned him the name ‘Lucky’, and Luciano is ready to repay the favour.
But Faolan has a secret. He’s far more than he appears to be. He’s wily, and wary. ‘Fox’ might have been a better nickname than ‘Wolf’. And he isn’t quite human anymore.
Now… I’m not a big vampire fan. I feel it’s been overused, especially after the fiasco that is Twilight. Sorry…vampires are not supposed to sparkle… McKinley has chosen a rarer variation on the vampire theme. They aren’t dead. They do need blood to survive, and don’t really need to eat. They are stronger, faster, more resilient. Short of the head or heart being taken out, they can heal just about anything, and quickly too.
The Vampyr, as they are known, exist as an underworld beneath the underworld, controlling things from the deepest shadows, and those of New York are currently at war with Vampyr of other cities.
I admit, I have a soft spot for these particular Mafia men mentioned in the story,however briefly mentioned, especially Lucky, and for this era of American history, which is what drew me to the story in the first place. Paranormal Mafia? Who could resist?
While you don’t get to see many of the historical Mafia players of the time, Arnold Rothstein, Lucky’s mentor, plays a very big role. This is a gritty action story, but it contains layers of psychological growth and transformation. I found it to be well-written and researched, with an engaging pace. It was easy to slip into the story and walk with Faolan.
If you enjoy the shows and books if the worlds of X-Files, Grimm, and Supernatural, or if you have a love of this particular time in America, take a peek at McKinley’s Drawing Dead.