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Release Day Review: Under a Blood-red Moon by Stephen Osborne

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Release Day Review: Under a Blood-red Moon by Stephen Osborne

Book Info

Book Series
Duncan Andrews Thrillers #5
About the Author
I first fell in love at the age of 9. Her name was Alexandra Moltke, and she played Victoria Winters on the soap opera Dark Shadows. Yes, I was one of those kids who ran home from school to watch Barnabas and the other spooky people on that show. I obviously never lost my love for the macabre, and it turns up often in my writing. 
I graduated from Purdue University and went on to manage a pizza restaurant. I also worked in bookstores for many years, and I joined an improvisational comedy troupe and did that for nearly a decade. I now work in a food packaging plant, testing the product before it goes onto the lines...so I basically bake brownies for a living. Someone has to do it.
Even though I write about ghosts, zombie bulldogs, and impulsive college students, some of my real life seeps into my writing every now and then. I'm not saying which bits, but there's a scene in a bedroom in Pop Goes the Weasel which still brings back painful memories...
Publication Date
May 30, 2016
Pages
200
ISBN
1634772245 (ISBN13: 9781634772242)
Private Detective Duncan Andrews is back, along with the usual gang: Robbie, Gina, Nick, and Daisy, the zombie bulldog! Duncan is trying to figure out how his boyfriend, Robbie, will fit in with the team now that he is no longer a ghost. That worry is soon set aside when Duncan accepts a new case to locate a missing young man named Graig Betz. Duncan soon learns Graig is part of a werewolf pack that is terrorizing Indianapolis. The pack is led by a witch, Ashley Campbell, an old rival of Gina’s. Duncan and his team must try to rescue and cure Graig and stop the wolf pack from destroying an entire city.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

A highly engaging and entertaining read
(Updated: May 30, 2016)
Overall 
 
4.0

Werewolves, witches, demons, the recently resurrected, a walking dead canine, and mere mortals, collide and converge in this highly entertaining, lighter than air, four-star confection. 
 
Stephen Osborne has an easy, engaging, style that quickly gets to the heart of his characters and their paranormal situations, making for highly satisfying, if unchallenging, reading. 
 
Those who gleefully devoured the four previous Duncan Andrews Thrillers will love this fifth outing and newcomers to the supernatural series will become converted to a new guilty pleasure. 
 
Under a Blood-Red Moon’s mystic cast of characters are straight out of some grotesque Characters Ville. Just for openers, there’s Duncan himself, an Indianapolis-based Private Eye with a special affinity for cases involving supernaturals. Perhaps the only thing this sleuth loves more than work is his boyfriend, Robbie.  
 
And make no mistake about it: Duncan’s live-in is no run of the mill main squeeze. You see this thirty-year-old beauty looks a full decade younger than his age because he was dead for ten years before being resurrected by some witchy hocus-pocus, mumbo jumbo.
 
Daisy, a zombie bulldog, completes Duncan’s ultra-eccentric family. In Daisy’s case, the dead don’t simply walk – she barks and wags her tail, too.
                
Gina is the good witch – this series version of Glinda the Good -who brought Robbie back to life, and who has made protecting Duncan her raison d’ etre. Ashley Campbell is Gina’s antipode – a wicked witch rival – an Elphaba on supernatural steroids - a sinister sorceress more powerful than Gina. Ashley’s “all in” with the werewolves that fuel the P.I.’s latest case, and she’s “absolutely out” to destroy Duncan.
                
Blood-Red Moon’s action goes into high gear after Mrs. Betz, a weary, worried grandmother shows up at Duncan’s door, fearing that Graig, her strange stud of a grandson, has been kidnapped, or worse. 
 
It doesn’t take Dunc long to learn that Graig is being held against his will by a pack of werewolves, all of them employed by the same automotive repair shop that employs him.
                
It’s a perilous, life-threatening case – just the P.I.’s cup of supernatural tea. Before Graig is returned to home, hearth, and Granny, blood will be spilled and life will ebb. Dunc is far less concerned for his own blood and life than he is for that of his boyfriend. You see, Robbie has already died, been buried, and then resurrected once. Duncan frames it this way: “As for death, I don’t mind so much for myself. But Robbie, I couldn’t put him through dying again.” On the one hand, our hero is committed
to protecting his lover – no matter what. On the other hand, Duncan knows that the not still dead dreamboat belongs at his side, and Robbie know it, too. So our sleuth is conflicted, to say the least.
                
Dunc also worries about Lieutenant Carson, the likable, flesh, and blood, muscle and bone, very mortal, married, clueless policeman, who is on the case. 
                
Adding to this motley metaphysical mix, Duncan has befriended a rare, human-loving demon, dubbed Elton because of his resemblance to a certain British Sir with the same first name.
                
Of the many sups in this thriller, my favorite is an unseen, but heard, Nether-being named Emma – one who diligently protects Gina’s apartment. Completely infatuated with Gina, the Good, Emma – not really a ghost because she has never lived - makes herself known by controlling Gina’s apartment lights - and by speaking in a gruff voice. An Emma grunt indicates that the persons entering are acceptable. But woe is it unto he who is greeted by Emma’s vocal thunder and the threatening, “Who dares to infiltrate my dwelling?” 
                
Osborne imbues even the most suspenseful scenes with humor that slices through the tension, making this thriller’s blood and carnage more easily palatable. 
 
Here’s one example. Everything is coming to an explosive, lethal head in Blood-Red Moon’s final conflict. Ashley and the werewolves are menacingly on one side. Duncan, Robbie, Gina, Elton, and Carson, are their less formidable adversaries. The battleground is the small town of Clarks Hill. Evil Ashley is strutting down White Street, flanked by the murderous, ready to rumble, werewolves. 
 
That’s when the author brings a smile to our tense lips by describing the lethal lupines as looking like they should be snapping their fingers and singing about what they should do when you’re a Jet in a bizarre production of West Side Story.
                
Clark Hill’s White Street subsequently becomes a bloody, supernatural battleground, the likes of which the Jets and the Sharks never dreamed. Buckets of blood are spilled, and lives are lost, in this lengthy, legendary, ultimate confrontation.
                
The outcome is for me to know, and for you to find out after you’ve purchased and read this highly engaging, entertainment.
                
I’ll end with the kind of phrase that rarely escapes my lips, or my computer keyboard: “Bring on the Duncan Andrews Thrillers, Book Six.”

CS
Top 10 Reviewer 19 reviews
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