Drago Descending

Drago Descending

by Greg F. Gifune


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Private Investigator David Drago is a former policeman and Gulf War veteran struggling with his combat experiences, his time spent in the psychological ward of a veterans' hospital, and the darkness of his past. When he is approached by a mysterious client who hires him to locate his missing fiancée, Jesse Greenlaw, Drago hesitantly takes the case. The problem, Jesse is also Drago's former girlfriend, the love of his life and still an intricate part of the darkness haunting him. Drago's investigation leads him into a labyrinth of violence, sexual intrigue, black witchcraft and hardcore Satanism. The deeper he digs, the deeper he descends into a dark netherworld haunted by visions of demons and angels alike that blurs the lines between reality and nightmare.

Originally published in 2002 to strong reviews, Drago Descending, Gifune's noir-occult thriller (and his first published novella), essentially launched the career of a then unknown but promising author who has gone on to become considered by many to be one of the best writers of crime and horror fiction of his generation. Out of print for several years, this vintage Gifune work returns for the first time in this new Author's Preferred Edition from Down & Out Books, and features an all new introduction from Greg F. Gifune.


"Drago Descending is the rarest breed of narrative-a story unaware of genre. Gifune's exploration of madness, spiritual warfare, pornography, and the paradoxical beauty and devastation of human relationships is a perfect marriage of form and subject. A first-rate thriller!" -Cemetery Dance Magazine

"A perfect balance of hardboiled noir and occult horror, Greg F. Gifune's Drago Descending is a real page-turner, genuinely frightening and emotionally devastating. This is a genre-bending tale of lost love and madness you won't soon forget." -Sandy DeLuca, author of Descent

"I don't care who you conjure-Marlowe, Spade, Hammer, Milodragovitch-Drago Descending is pure neo-noir joy, a quick throw-down on the sullied, mean streets. Supernatural Horror? Hardboiled Crime? Or a memoir from a guy sitting on the ward watching lizards crawl the walls? You decide." -The Crawford List Reviews

"Greg F. Gifune is one of this generation's most talented authors. His unique blend of real life with surrealistic horror borders on genius. Drago Descending is a novella that is impossible to put down and will keep you guessing until the last page is turned. Highly recommended." -S. Joan Popek, author of Sound the Ram's Horn

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781948235792
Publisher: Down & Out Books II, LLC
Publication date: 04/22/2019
Pages: 218
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.50(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

Dawn had been approaching for hours. Soft shades of gray punctured holes in an otherwise black sky, the light emerging on the horizon like the slow and steady drip of blood from a fresh wound. The night was seamless--with no beginning, no end--and reality had become strangely malleable.

Just miles from Baghdad, I nestled deeper into my cradle of rock below a large ridge, felt desert sand sift between my legs and remembered the roar of the aircraft as it plummeted to Earth. The others didn't survive, and I had been alone from that point forward.

Ignoring the blood on my chest, stomach and hands, I climbed to the edge of the ridge, and through night-vision goggles focused on an encampment of a dozen enemy soldiers.

I returned to my hiding place and clutched my rifle like a child awakened from nightmares. As my thoughts turned to Jesse and the world I'd known before, I began to understand why I could never leave this hellish place alive.

* * * *

Rain clicked against the windows like acrylic fingernails tapping a computer keyboard. I pushed the memories aside, spun around in my desk chair and watched the blurred view of the street just outside my office. Despite the beautiful foliage, October in New England was raw and gloomy enough; the rain only made it worse.

I opened the morning edition of the Times and spread it out across my desk. Little had changed in New Bedford in the last twenty-four hours. There had been a shooting in the south end of the city just blocks from my office, the mayoral primaries were getting nastier by the minute and the forecast predicted continued showers and heavy winds for most ofSoutheastern Massachusetts.

I was just about to start a crossword puzzle when the phone rang. "Drago Investigations."

"Is Mr. Drago in?" a soft male voice asked.

"That'd be me."

"Would it be possible to make an appointment?"

"Depends. What can I do for you?"

"I need the services of a professional investigator," he said evenly. "That is what you do, isn't it?"

I glanced at the layer of dust covering my appointment book. "Theoretically." Silence--no sense of humor, this guy. "What sort of work do you need done?"

"If you don't mind, I'd prefer to discuss this in person."

"No problem. Did you have a particular time in mind?"

"My schedule is relatively flexible."

I ruffled some papers to make it sound good. "I could squeeze you in today if you can make it around ten o'clock."

"That's fine," the man answered. "I assume the address in the phone book is still current?"

"Yeah." I looked over at the cot I'd set up in the corner, and the array of spent beer bottles, empty pizza boxes and dirty laundry scattered across the floor and along the top of my file cabinets. Due to a decided lack of business I'd been forced to give up my apartment and live out of the office for the past few weeks. "Actually, my office is undergoing a bit of renovation at the moment. Tell me, Mr.--"


"Say again?"

"A-B-D-I-E-L. Abdiel."

"Uh-huh. Are you familiar with New Bedford, sir?"

"I am."

"Meet me at the Moby City Cafe. It's across from the bus station downtown."

"Perfect. I'll see you at ten o'clock."

I hung up and thumbed through the stack of bills on the corner of my desk. "Thank God."

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