Book Review – Drawing Dead by Lee Brazil

Jack of Spades #1 – Pulp Friction 2015 #1.

The world hasn’t been the same since the preternaturals came out of the closet. Much to many people’s chagrin, strange beings of all kinds are making life tricky for the “normals.”
Physics professor Dr. Sabine Brusilov has been obsessed with ghost hunting since he was eight years old. He’s gathered a wealth of knowledge, but can’t produce a shred of scientific proof.

One hundred and seventy-five years of death haven’t done riverboat gambler Barton Montoire a damn bit of good. He’s still rash, impulsive, and prone to fits of temper and bouts of melancholy.

You’d think that when fate brought the two of them together, Bart’s lonely spirit would be calmed, and Sabine would have the proof his heart desires.

In a world where mythical beings are real, love is still the most elusive… and treacherous myth of them all.

Buy Link: from Lime Time Press

Drawing Dead by Lee Brazil is part of the Pulp Friction shared universe. Four authors—Lee Brazil, Havan Fellows, Parker Williams, and Laura Harner—each continue a part of the story with their own characters, who also show up in other books within the universe.

The Jack of Spades part of this universe by Lee Brazil follows Sabine and Bart. Although the story was short, I was drawn into the story very quickly. I loved the characters and their relationship, and banter between them. The world building is great. I could imagine their surroundings very easily and a world where preternaturals are ‘out’ intrigues me. The fun part is that not all of them are out, and the existence of ghosts still needs to be proved, which is a little bit of an issue for someone who deals with ghosts but can’t prove their existence. Bart’s not much help either.

Although a fun read, the tension still racks up, especially as the case Sabine is trying to solve gets complicated very quickly. Naturally, it’s not exactly as it seems, and, being a serial, isn’t solved in this one story. But, that’s some of the appeal of the way in which this universe is written. It reminds me of the old serials that used to play at the movies. It’s just enough to whet your appetite, suck you then and then leave you waiting desperately for the next part.

I read this in one sitting, partly because of its length which is perfect for a quick read, but also because I couldn’t put it down. I got to the last page and was most miffed that that was it, and I’d have to work through the series to find out what happens next.

But that’s the point, right? A point that works extremely well.

Lee Brazil is an author I haven’t read before but I will be reading more. Lee’s style is very easy to read, and the characters feel very real, as do the settings. Although I wasn’t familiar with the original Altered States universe, that didn’t detract either, and I didn’t feel as though I was missing anything although I’d to read them at some point.

I’d highly recommend Drawing Dead to those who love a good urban fantasy with great characters and banter and a good dollop of action and drama. 5 out of 5.

About Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with a cat with “tortitude” who is convinced that the house is run to suit her; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date, it appears as though Kaylee may be winning. In 2008, Anne completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra. She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts and reviews for other authors, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes. She is the co-founder of the New Zealand Rainbow Romance writers, and a member of RWNZ. Anne’s books have received honorable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards. She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical. Anne can be found at
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