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A Legacy of Blood: Jack Petrov - Private Investigator/Vampire Hunter Paperback – December 12, 2011
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From the Author
This novel began as an idea in the summer of 2001, in which I wanted to write a 20th Century adventure series with an Indiana Jones-style protagonist wearing the popular fedora hat of the 1920s-1950s. Deciding to make him a vampire hunter instead of a globetrotting archeologist and setting the first story during the Roaring Twenties of America's Prohibition Era within a corrupt Noirish urban location made the concept more original. I invented Gotham, New Jersey by taking one nickname for New York City (rather than the name of Batman's home) and finding a spot on the Garden State's map where no city actually exists - in a looping bend of the Raritan River at a central New Jersey rural area called the Salt Meadows.
I also drew on the legendary serial killer Hungarian Countess Elizabeth Bathory-Nadasy of the 16th and 17th Centuries (the infamous Blood Countess accused of murdering young ladies to drink and bathe in their blood) as the historical origin for my novel's featured 331-year-old vampiress Helena Egeresi Sloane. Of course I added the actual vampirism to Elizabeth for passing such power from blood onto her fictional biological granddaughter, having read more on the legendary figure since first learning about her when a pre-teenager. This element also inspired the novel's title which began as Shadow of a Countess in earlier drafts.
The Jack Petrov character was made a Russian-American due to my fascination with the Slavic peoples of this world, the first son born in 1901 America to two immigrants (his older brother Ivan born four years earlier in St. Petersburg). I also made him a hard luck figure (in the Rockford Files mold) who does not always win every battle in life, but keeps on fighting and usually succeeds where and when it truly counts. The greatest examples of this are his unfair criminal background - framed in 1924 for crimes he did not commit as a Gotham police officer, how the town's elite still hate him after his 1925 pardon once his innocence was discovered (after he served eight months of a thirty-year multiple count sentence inside Trenton State Penitentiary), and the fact that in the end he loses social worker Annie Mertz as his potential lover to detective agency client Joshua Sloane.
I intend this to be the first in a series of novels, novella or story collections revolving around Petrov and his adventures between 1925 and 1975, and am now writing the next Petrov novel set in April 1928 and involving a trip through one strange magical mirror to an alterate world when searching for a missing Gotham heiress.
From the Back Cover
1925 Gotham, New Jersey - The Roaring Twenties of Prohibition and its attending corruption are in full swing. Former police officer and ex-convict Jackson Sergeivich Petrov begins a new chapter as a private investigator, The city is plagued by a series of unsolved disappearances, while Petrov takes his first case shadowing a retired railroad executive's young wife for evidence of infidelity. He discovers there is more than meets the eye to gorgeous helena Sloane. Aided by an intrepid young local social worker and his few remaining friends, Jack Petrov tracks down a female serial killer far older than she appears. In the end, only he can end her dark deadly legacy of blood spanning four centuries.
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