Book Review: The Dragon and The Detective

The Bookworm | 09 April 2012 | Novel Reviews, The Book Den | , , | 0 Comments   

The Dragon and The Detective (Dragon Tales & Stories #2) by Drew Henriksen
April 7, 2006 by ArcheBooks Publishing
Genre: Fiction/Fantasy
Reviewed By: Nicole Raines
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Plot: Detective Craig Scalici is working a case of mysterious murders, where the remains look like they have been eaten and regurgitated. Of course, this cant be possible.. What kind of creature could eat and regurgitate an entire body? Craig and his daughter have also been having strange dreams of flying and being stalked by something evil. What could this mean? With a reporter out to destroy his career and an ex-wife suing for custody, he must try to keep his cool and put a stop to the evil that is killing everybody in it’s path, before it gets to him and his daughter.

My Thoughts:  The Dragon and The Detective is the second book in the Dragon Tales & Stories trilogy by author Drew Henriksen. After really enjoying the first book, I was looking forward to diving back into the world Henriksen had created. However, I wasnt expecting to dive into the 1970s after spending 400 years in the future in book one. Initially I was a little bit disappointed in the change of settings, but then my initial disappointment was put aside as the storyline started to take shape and the characters pulled me in.

The book opens with the unexplainable disappearance of big time mob boss Frank Gercio. Gercio and his limo completely vanishes without a trace. Craig and Aisha are called to the crime scene when Gercio and his limo are discovered several miles away from the vanishing point. What’s worse, the limo and Gercio’s body looks like it has been completely eaten and regurgitated. Talk about a crazy crime scene!  Craig knows there’s no logical explanation for what could have happened to Gercio and he soon starts to realize there might be some supernatural force at work. When he starts having dreams about dragons and flying at night, he begins to wonder if dragons are real and if one could have eaten Frank Gercio. Of course that explanation is crazy. Or is it? Keeping his concerns to himself, he looks to another plausible explanation: Frank Gercio’s daughter, Marcella, who is even more dangerous than her father ever was.

At first I wasnt sure about the main character, Craig Scalici. His aloofness with people at work somewhat put me off, but once I discovered his devotion to his daughter, Meredith, I quickly grew to like him. He also has a witty personality, but with somewhat of inappropriate humor for the work place. He was an interesting character to say the least. I also liked his partner at work, Aisha Barlow. She has a no-nonsense attitude. I loved how straightforward she was with Craig when he sometimes needed to be put in his place. Two of my favorite characters were Craig’s daughter Meredith and her babysitter Jeannine. Meredith has a keen sense to the supernatural around her, even though she’s very young. For some reason I was drawn to her the most and loved Jeannine relationship with her.

Marcella is the main antagonist of The Dragon and the Detective and let me just say that she is loathsome! There’s really not a single redeemable quality about her. Maybe her love for her son, but not even that could endure her to me. Not only is she deadly as the mob bosses daughter, she truly is evil in every sense of the word. I actually felt bad for her husband. She’s also a very powerful witch. Using both her positions of power, mob & magic, she’s out to destroy anybody she views as a threat and that includes Craig. With the help of a mysterious book and blood magic, she begins to target Craig and everybody in his life.

I dont want to spoil too much of the storyline, so I better not say too much more about the plot, but when I first started reading, I wasnt sure how The Dragon and the Detective would tie in with the first book, Dragon and Wolves. The first book left me wondering about the history of a certain object and I’m almost certain that the object’s history is revealed in The Dragon and the Detective. I’m curious to know if both stories take place in the same area, but 400 years apart. I’m not certain at all, but I cant help but to wonder if Marcella’s mansion is the same mansion that burned down in Dragons and Wolves. It’s a question I would like to ask the author.

Like Dragons and Wolves, The Dragon and The Detective included a few illustrations throughout the story. They were done by Rob Granito. I wish more books included illustrations because they really do make a nice touch to the story.

Henriksen once again set a great pace to the story that kept the reader guessing. Even though Craig and his daughter both had dreams about flying with dragons, I could never figure out exactly who the dragon was and it wasn’t revealed until the very last chapter! It was a hell of a twist! One I never would have guessed and certainly didnt see coming. I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about the revelations. All I will say is that some of the characters ended up not being who I thought they were and it made me feel a little disappointed and a couple of deaths made me feel a little sad, but the overall storyline was really good read. There’s also a few side plots involving a snaky reporter trying to ruin Craig’s career and Craig’s relationship with a mysterious author, which all come together very nicely within the story.

Aside from a few grammar mistakes, I found the writing to be solid – being a really good blend of both mystery and fantasy. All the characters in the book are wrote with personality. Even the bad guys had a few characteristics about them you could appreciate, so I was never bored when the story went back and forth between characters. Henriksen once again proved that he has a great imagination and a knack for storytelling.  If you enjoyed Dragons and Wolves, you should have no trouble enjoying The Dragon and The Detective.

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