Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Justified Sins: Brian Drake Kicks Butt Again
When I reviewed Paul Cain’s Fast One some time back, I remarked that the mystery was not who-killed-whom, but rather who would still be alive at the end. That’s also true of Brian Drake’s new short novel, Justified Sins.
On the mean streets of Drakeville, no one is safe, and I mean no one. Luckily, one man cares about the innocents. He’s determined to extract vengeance for those already fallen, and do his damndest to protect those still alive. That man’s name is Pierce.
Pierce is a pretty cool guy. Part Sam Spade, part Mack Bolan. He jokingly refers to himself as Batman without the cape. Unfortunately for the criminal element, Pierce is fully versed in the use of handheld weapons of mass destruction. In the tradition of Don Pendleton’s Executioner, Pierce brings military battle tactics to bear on the bad guys, and takes no prisoners.
The plot involves a couple of rival mobsters who’ve sent their minions to Pierce’s town after an incriminating video tape. When people close to him end up dead or in danger, Pierce unleashes all his fury on all concerned, and the city becomes a war zone.
As in the short story collection, Reaper's Dozen, Brian Drake’s prose kicks butt along with his heroes. A sample:
PIERCE WATCHED the silent cabin from behind the stump.
___Soon the front door opened and Ben Regan rushed out with an MP7. While Regan ran into the clearing Chubby blasted from the doorway, spraying the trees and bushes around Pierce. Pierce stayed low and listened to the rounds whistle. The flash of Chubby’s weapon gave Pierce a nice target. He squeezed the trigger once and down went Chubby.
___Regan reached the black car and ducked near the front fender. His knee struck a rock and he gritted teeth against the sharp stab of pain.
___Pierce fired a full-auto burst. The front passenger side tire exploded, that side of the car sinking. Regan appeared around the back end and Pierce’s next burst stitched a pattern of holes in the fender.
___Regan scooted back. Dust clung to his sweaty face. The tire didn’t provide enough cover and his body was visible in the gap between car and ground. The car started to shake as nine-millimeter slugs hammered the body, split the air overhead. Regan dropped prone; scooted past the rear bumper to level his own MP7 at Pierce’s position.
___Pierce reloaded as rounds split the foliage, struck the stump. Shards of bark peppered his neck. He held back the Beretta’s trigger and flame spit from the muzzle, sending hot stingers into the back end of the car. Regan let out a clipped yell.
___Pierce reloaded again, let the dust clear, selected semi-auto and popped round after round into Regan’s prostrate form until he could no longer physically pull the trigger. He crawled on hands and knees over the dusty ground, shoving rocks out of the way, to Regan’s body. He felt through the pockets of the blood-spattered pants, removing a money clip with a few hundred dollars and cell phone. He yanked the gold chain from Regan’s wrist and wiped blood away. LOVE THY NEIGHBOR. Pierce wanted to vomit.
This ebook is a flat-out steal at $2.99. Steal it NOW from Amazon or Smashwords.
And while you're at it, you might pop over to Brian Drake Explains it All to read a fine interview with the author.