Reviewed by David Brzeski
I’d been meaning to get around to reading one of Ed Erdelac’s books for quite some time, when this advance review copy came my way. I’d already bought all three of his ‘Merkabah Rider’ series, but hadn’t yet found the time to get to them.
Professor Abraham Van Helsing in the Wild West! What more could one ask for?
Seriously, not much! This excellent novel follows Van Helsing as he travels to Texas to deliver the ashes of Quincy P. Morris to his brother Coleman.
On the way, he meets a beautiful Greek lady, who is en route to join her fiancé, a neighbouring Norwegian rancher. Relations are not good between the Morris’ and the Norwegians and the fact that a mountain lion seems to be taking a dreadful toll on the livestock is not helping.
It’s not long before it’s not only cattle that are being killed and mutilated, and Van Helsing suspects the culprit is no mountain lion.
Brawling ranch-hands, a drunken newspaperman, a one-legged, one-handed, one-eyed, one-eared horse-trader and a native American shaman make up the numbers on Van Helsing’s side. On the other, we have a group of giant Norwegian Odin cultists just for starters.
Edward M. Erdelac tells the story quite brilliantly in the same sort of journal, letters, newspaper article style as Dracula and in certain sections, cuss words are censored in exactly the same way we’re used to seeing them in novels of the 19th century. Details like this add enormously to the feel of the book. He melds these stylistic concepts perfectly with those of the classic western tales.
I enjoyed this book immensely and was very pleased to note all the hints that were laid for possible future books. The occasional mention of “the Great Detective” especially intrigued me.