Savage Days Haunted Nights by Bennett Kremen is a crime drama about a man who is a walking contradiction. Dorian embodies a mix of good and evil and the opposition between his conflicting ideas, behavior and feelings threatens to drive him crazy. The story will take you to Chicago, New York and even the wilds of Alaska and Kremen's detailed descriptions will put you right in the thick of the action.
Dorian and his girlfriend, Ana, live in Manhattan and work the flea markets together. She finds the items to sell and he does the heavy lifting and rents the truck. Two weeks ago she left him because he decided he wanted a baby. Without her sales expertise he's having trouble making ends meet and he makes a big mistake. He borrows $15,000 from a loan shark and has no means to pay him back. The interest piles up and Frankie wants his money. Then Dorian makes an even bigger mistake. He runs into Frankie near Sully's Pub and when Frankie demands his money, Dorian becomes belligerent and gets in his face. He threatens Frankie, emphasizing the fact that he's from the old West Side in Chicago, Capone territory. This doesn't sit well with Frankie and before long the word is out that Frankie is gunning for him. Dorian holes up in his apartment and thinks about his past. He was a dyslexic boy who couldn't read and ended up hanging with a bunch of hoodlums. When he got a little older he made his way to New York with a bag of stolen money. He wanted to do better and he painstakingly wrote book reviews and essays but his impaired ability to comprehend written words made it a very slow process and he couldn't make a living at it. When he met Ana the two of them scratched out a living and he was happy. But then things went sour and now he's afraid to go outside. Dorian hears that Ana is being threatened and his old violent nature surfaces. There's no way he can allow Ana to be terrorized. He leaves the apartment via the roof and manages to buy a gun.
This is a story about buried hopes, the choices people make and the consequences that result. Dorian is a convincing character and the author makes you privy to his thoughts as he tries to analyze his situation and how to deal with it. Will he learn from past mistakes or continue on a destructive path? There's plenty of suspense and action along the way. It's an engrossing read on many levels. I expect we'll see more from Bennett Kremen.
Publisher: BookSurge Publishing (October 12, 2008)
Paperback: 278 Pages