Bram Stoker wanted fame. What he got was pure evil.
In late Victorian London, Bram Stoker is an unnoticed author who longs for celebrity and recognition. His ignored writings have left him anonymous. When Vlad Tepes, an eccentric European aristocrat, poses a dangerous proposition, the frustrated artist can’t help but listen. In trade for a simple exchange of services, Tepes promises to give him the information he needs to write a book about the nature of evil that will shock the world. Hungry for a successful book, Stoker reluctantly agrees.
Sir Henry Irving, England’s leading Shakespearean actor and Stoker’s employer, begins to notice an unpredictable nature in his struggling friend. When Stoker’s uncharacteristic behavior jeopardizes a deal between Irving and Sherlock Holmes creator Arthur Conan Doyle, the creative masterminds begin to investigate the source of Stoker’s preoccupation. What they find shakes them to the core: malevolent darkness, blood, and murder. The evidence begins to mount that they may be dealing with a real vampire.
The chase is on to save Stoker and his family. Failure could result in the loss of their lives… and their souls.
Black Shadow Moon is the first book in a series that asks the question, “What if Bram Stoker’s Dracula was based on real events?” Author P.G. Kassel’s dark supernatural thriller answers the question in a gothic horror novel that brings vampires back to their original evil: existing for no other purpose than to purvey pain, destruction, and death. Will Stoker fall prey to the beautiful side of evil that promises, seduces, and then eviscerates?
My Rating: * * * *
I enjoyed this book. How can one resist reading Bram Stokers personal story of how Dracula came to be written? How much could possibly be real? I enjoyed the rich Gothic Victorian atmosphere, and the chapters were short enough to keep the action fast paced.
The cover was excellent, and of course one of the first things that drew me in. The descriptive writing was also very good. You can feel and see what the characters are going through.
The story begins in Whitby with Bram trying to get some inspiration for his writing. One evening he is eerily approached by a strange gentleman. Since Bram lives in London the stranger offers to give him stories of his homeland in exchange for Stokers knowledge of London. Stoker politely declines, but shortly after his return to London he sees him again at the theater he is manager of. He also sees him paying particular attention to his lovely wife Florence, and her friend Lucy. After the second encounter with the man who calls himself Tepes, Stoker feels himself compelled to accept the arrangement Tepes originally put forth. So begins a chain of events, and horrors that endanger himself, his wife and friends who set forth to destroy this monster. Even after the horrors they witness they can’t bring themselves to believe Tepes is a Vampire. This is a rich story filled with great characters like Arthur Conan Doyle, and Sir Henry Irving. I recommend this book to all who love all things Dracula.
P.G. Kassel is a former film and television writer-director turned novelist. He has always loved good stories and story telling. Suspense-thrillers, the supernatural and horror, romantic comedy, science fiction, westerns – he isn’t one to be fenced in by a genre label – he just enjoys telling a good story.
While attending film school at USC his focus was on directing. At the time a new director was more likely to get the opportunity to direct a feature film if they had written the screenplay. So, he began writing screenplays and teleplays, and wrote a shelf-full of them.
Phil always loved books and reading so it was only a matter of time before his enjoyment of writing screenplays began to transform into a desire to write a novel. The end result was Black Shadow Moon. He is currently writing the sequel to Black Shadow Moon and has four other novels in various stages of development.
A native Californian, Phil spent over 30 years working in the entertainment industry. In addition to writing his interests include songwriting, playing and recording music, still photography, and shooting cowboy firearms.
Phil is married to an amazing and beautiful woman who puts up with all his artistic moodiness. They make their home in Los Angeles, California.