Book Review: From a Drood to a Kill by Simon R. Green

Posted March 9, 2016 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 4 Comments

Book Review: From a Drood to a Kill by Simon R. Green

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

From a Drood to a Kill by Simon R. Green
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Published by Roc on June 2, 2015
Pages: 400
Format: Hardcover
Source: the library

Buy on Amazon
Also by this author: Tales of the Hidden World, The Dark Side of the Road, Dead Man Walking, Very Important Corpses, Moonbreaker, Dr. DOA, Property of a Lady Faire, The Dark Side of the Road , The House on Widows Hill

Ninth in the Secret Histories urban fantasy spy series and revolving around Eddie Drood, a crusading Drood who believes in fairness and honesty. Yep, he’s a rogue Drood all right.

My Take

Green caught my attention with Eddie and Molly’s invasion of the Hall. I do enjoy it when the Family is discombobulated.

It figures that the government is really spying on everyone. Their excuse that they’re only watching for terrorists is a scam. In fact, it sounds like our own Homeland Security, and the government has no business arresting people for having minds and opinions of their own! The military is consistent with the government’s policies. What the commander wants to do with Fantom is too typical of how they think.

It’s a cruel bunch, these Droods. There will be no scandal in the family, all secrets are need-to-know, and acceptance is very, very, very tight. However, it only takes one act, one death, that turns Eddie. The act that makes Eddie decide not to kill again.

”It’s all about the give-and-take.

You give and I take.”

I want that Bentley! All those fun gadgets and its ability to travel anywhere?

Eddie wishes he’d asked more about his Uncle Jack while he was still alive. The T-shirts, the ladies, his secret life outside the Hall… I’m not sure what Uncle Jack would have thought about that whole scene in the Drood garage as Green describes the things oozing off that Bentley, lol. Probably invent more cool stuff.

Green has such a wicked and inventive mind. Those names he comes up with, lol. I really do enjoy the different, um, perspectives he takes on monsters, gods, demons, and fairy tales, mixing it up by bringing in the Nightside characters. Publishers kidnapping their old characters…hmph… No honor, no honor a’tall.

The real conflict of the story comes almost halfway through as the mourners talk about the old days, and they come to realize just how many of their fellows have gone missing in action.

Whoaaaa. The forgiveness scene is scary. Talk about some intense psychotherapy! I do appreciate how Green worded Eddie’s thoughts about the past. The perspective he came to understand. It’s an interesting look back at past Secret History. Nor is Eddie’s the only introspection, as he forces others to examine themselves as well.

Arghhh, Walker drove me nuts with his back-and-forth about who he truly was. Too, too typical of the Big Game.

A tiny bit of foreshadowing with the ancient Lone Ranger(ess). And I have to wonder if Green is setting us up for a confrontation between Eddie and Molly.

The Story

Seems Eddie isn’t the only rebellious one when the Bentley Uncle Jack gives him goes off course and out of control into the subtle realms where nothing and no one can reach him. It’s only the start of deals and games, for many, many others have made pacts and agreements with Heaven, Hell, and every otherworldly realm in between, and now their bill is due with only one way out. If they can survive.

It’s when Molly is taken that Eddie Drood gets involved and makes a horrific discovery when he ends up in that pocket dimension called the Shifting Sands. There’s only one way out, through a Door that will only open for one. And Eddie’s parents are two of the competitors along with Molly.

The Characters

Eddie Drood, a.k.a., Shawn Bond, is one of the Drood field agents, but more of a rogue as he refuses to bow down to the Drood rules without questioning them. He’s already ripped the Heart out of it, ahem, and is determined to be the Family’s conscience.

Molly Metcalf is his girlfriend and the Wild Witch of the Woods, a supernatural terrorist who does indeed terrify most of the world. Isabella of the skintight blood-red leathers and the Laura Ashley-wearing Louisa are her even more terrifying sisters.

Drood Hall is…
…the ancestral home of the Droods from which no one really gets away. They’re folks who chase monsters out of closets for a living to keep humanity safe from all that is dark, demonic, and just downright evil. The Sanctity is its hidden core where Ethel, an other-dimensional patron and protector, is based. Capability Maggie is the current Matriarch and she hates it. Cedric is the terrifying Serjeant-at-Arms with a secret life. The Armourer is Eddie’s Uncle Jack. Scraps 2. is his mechanical dog. He’s been grooming Maxwell and Victoria to replace him. Kate is Eddie’s new handler. Sandra is the garage chief and very annoyed about Uncle Jack’s, I mean, Eddie’s, Bentley.

Uncle James, Jack’s brother, was the Grey Fox who tried to kill Eddie. Melanie Blaze had been James’ true love, lost on another mission to the subtle realms. He’s renowned for the bastards he sowed around the world, including Maurice Levallier; Le Freak; Charlotte Karstein, the Wilderness Witch; Monkton Farley, consulting detective; and many, many more.

Ammonia Vom Acht is the most powerful telepath in the world and married to William Drood, the Librarian. Yorith is his assistant and sometimes his keeper.

The Merlin Glass is a magical artifact with a mind of its own. A number of supernaturals pay their respects to Jack, including the undine in the lake and the dragon.

The Wulfshead is…
…the impenetrable club where Jack’s wake is held. Some of the mourners include Dead Boy; Julien Advent, the Victorian Adventurer; Bruin Bear and the Sea Goat from Shadows Fall; Catherine Latimer representing the Ghost Finders of the Carnacki Institute; the cross-dressing Waterloo Lillian; Demonbane the Soulhunter; and, Nicolai Vodyanoi, a retired ex-KGB adversary. He has two vicious grandsons, werewolves, Sergei and Gregor Vodyanoi.

The Department of the Uncanny…
…has been gutted. Eddie’s grandfather, Arthur, the Regent of Shadows, had led the department. Turns out that Patrick, the weaponsmaster, had actually been Charles Drood while Diana, a very special agent with shadow-dancing abilities, had been Emily Drood. Eddie’s longlost parents.

Marcus Turner had been one of Arthur’s old Shadows, and a bastard of a bastard Drood with anger issues.

Lark Hill is…
…where the Prime Minister needs aid. It’s a secret installation in which the Big Ear is installed. Commander Donald Fletcher is in charge. Gemma Markham is a psychic old lady with a true patriotism.

Black Heir is…
…an organization that cleans things up after unauthorized close encounters; they have an interest in taking over the Department of the Uncanny.

Alexander King is the Independent Agent. The Fantom is a legendary French spy and assassin who fears exposure.

The London Knights are…
…a religious order based in London, obviously, at Castle Inconnu. Sir Perryvale is the current Seneschal who used to go drinking with Jack and Cedric. Archie is his proud stealth owl. His photograph of his wife, Elise, and son, Ricard, is all he has left of them. Their Oracle is the Lady of the Lake, Lady Gaea, but she prefers Gayle. Sir Bors occupies himself with the Lady Vivienne who is psychic. Sir Kae is the Grand Commander.

The Mighty is…
…a cybercafé. Willy Fleagal is its proprietor interested in the information market. Robot Archibald is a ’60s mechanical adventurer moonlighting.

The Big Game is…
…the bills coming due. It’s The Powers That Be that run the games in the Shifting Sands. Walker is the host who introduces Eddie around. The Somnambulist, the former Carrys Galloway who never slept, is Walker’s protector. Tarot Jones the Tatterdemalion is the Totem of the Travelling Tribes who bargained for the power to protect his people. Chandarru, Lord of the Abyss and Seeker After Truth, was one of the last authentic Chinese conjurers who made many deals in return for secrets. The Sin Eater sees himself as a preacher, exorcising demons and taking them captive. Eddie’s parents are here as well for the deals they made. Crow Lee is the Most Evil Man in the World.

The Travel Bureau is…
…a wicked place of which I should think Gayle knew the truth. It has a Door that will take you away, let you disappear without a trace. Miz Smith, Mister Genuine Muscle, and David Perrin work there, but not for long.

Harry Fabulous is the Go-to-Guy for everything.

The subtle realms are the in-between places, unfinished realms where the laws of reality don’t exist. The Arbiter sits in judgment upon you. Honey Lake is the CIA agent who died in Eddie’s arms.

The Cover and Title

The cover is an overall green with the title in a burnt orange at the bottom. The author’s name is in a blue-green at the top with the same color used for the series information at the bottom. The graphic is a back shot of Eddie with his armored right hand, standing in front of Jack’s Bentley, facing down a pack in an alley.

The title is Bond-inspired and a convoluted way to express Eddie deciding From a Drood to a Kill will be him no longer.

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