Sons of Darkness
The Night Vigil
Gail Z. Martin
The Night Vigil
Gail Z. Martin
Genre: dark urban fantasy
Publisher: SOL Publishing
Date of Publication: October, 2018
Number of pages: 278
Word Count: 84,000
Cover Artist: Lindsey Lewellen
Tagline: A demon-hunting ex-priest teams up with a former FBI agent to solve a series of supernaturally-instigated deaths and disappearances.
Demon-hunting former priest Travis Dominick works with the misfit psychics of the Night Vigil to fight supernatural creatures and malicious paranormal activity.
When a series of disappearances, suicides and vengeful spirits cause havoc and death along a remote interstate highway, Travis teams up with former special ops soldier and monster-hunter Brent Lawson to end the problem with extreme prejudice.
Excerpt 1 from Sons of Darkness: A Night Vigil Novel By Gail Z. Martin
The abandoned warehouse squatted next to a rusting railway spur, the faded paint of its sign almost unreadable against the old brick walls. Too sturdy to knock down, too expensive to gentrify, the decaying building smelled of mold and dust, rats…and blood.
Travis Dominick moved silently through the shadows, intent on his prey. Moonlight and the distant glow of streetlights filtered through the dirty windows and skylights, giving barely enough illumination for him to make his way.
He knew his quarry had gone to ground here. The ghosts told him so, and the vision that woke him in a cold sweat showed him where to look. Travis blended in with the darkness, with raven-dark hair and black clothing that let him melt into the shadows.
There. He saw the creature’s matted brown coat as it eased around one of the pillars supporting the roof. In its beast form, the monster was the size of a large wolf, or even a mastiff. But that’s where the likeness to any normal canine ended. The nachzehrer was a vampire-shifter, a plague-carrier, and it had murdered—and eaten—an entire family. Travis had come to put an end to its killing spree.
He pulled a silver knife from the bandolier across his chest and hurled it. It flew silently, and sunk hilt-deep into the creature’s hindquarters. The beast gave a howl, not from the injury—which Travis knew wouldn’t be lethal—but from the shift the silver forced.
Sinew and slick muscle glistened as the dirty pelt stripped away into bloody ribbons, and the body reshaped itself when bones broke and knit with a disturbing snap and crunch. The monster hunched, no longer on all fours but not yet standing upright.
A burst of gunfire cut into the creature and pockmarked the pillar behind it. Fast shots from an automatic weapon. The beast bellowed, bloodied but not seriously hurt.
Then the bullets weren’t silver. Fuck. There’s a newbie out there who thinks he’s Van Helsing.
Travis peered out from where he’d retreated with his back to one of the pillars. The creature shook off the last gory remnants of its fur. In the half-light, Travis could make out the thing that had once been human, before it brought plague to its family and stripped their bones clean with the knife-sharp teeth of its changed form.
More shots tore into the monster’s head and body, but the creature did not collapse, needing more than steel to slay it. Then, with a burst of speed, it leaped into the shadows, intent on bringing down its assailant.
“Shit,” Travis muttered, taking off at a run. I could have done this the easy way, but no…some Buffy wanna-be has to fuck it all up.
Travis held a coiled silver whip in his left hand, and a Glock with silver bullets in his right. Silver and steel knives of varying sizes filled the bandolier and hung from sheathes strapped to his belt. He had come prepared to destroy the monster. Now, he had to save the idiot who had gone looking for trouble—and found it.
The creature moved fast, leaping for its attacker with its teeth bared and its sharp claws out. A man cursed, and the beast yowled in pain. Travis closed in on the scene, to find a powerfully built blond man going after the monster with a K-bar in each hand. Every time Travis moved to line up a shot with the Glock, the combatants pivoted, putting the man squarely in his sights. As annoyed as he was at the interloper, Travis couldn’t justify shooting him.
The beast stood half a head taller than its opponent, but whoever the dipshit was who had blundered into Travis’s hunt, the guy knew how to fight. Travis might have answered to a different authority for his own training, but he’d learned from some of the best, and he recognized the close-quarters moves as elite military, maybe special ops. So perhaps the fight was not as uneven as he had first suspected.
Travis circled, looking for an opening, figuring he and the mystery man could double-team the creature.
“Stay back! I’ve got this!” The blond man growled, slashing with the knife in his right hand and thrusting with the blade in his left.
Unless those knives were edged with blessed silver, Travis knew the other man could harry the creature all day without ever bringing it down.
“Get out of the way, and I’ll finish it,” Travis called back. He lashed out with the silver whip, flaying open a deep gash in the monster’s back. The beast jerked and turned, recognizing a second threat, but shifted its stance before Travis could get off a shot with the Glock, putting the man between them.
“I told you, I’ve got—” The reply broke off as the creature put on a press of speed, swiping its powerful clawed hand across the man’s shoulder and tossing him effortlessly through the air. The stranger hit one of the support pillars hard, but he staggered to his feet, ready for another round.
“Of all the stupid, asinine, fucking idiots,” Travis muttered as he tried to flank the creature, but although the beast remained intent on its injured quarry, it was clever enough not to expose its back to Travis.
The stranger didn’t wait for the beast to attack again. He came at the creature with kicks and punches in a flurry of expertly trained movement that would have had a human opponent down in seconds. The two long knives sank deep into the monster’s body, and the thing howled in fury and pain. It lunged, and claws tore into the fighter’s shoulder as the beast opened its maw and bared its fangs, lowering its head toward the struggling man’s throat.
Intent on fresh blood, the creature made a mistake. Travis dodged into position. He didn’t dare shoot into the back of the beast for fear the bullets went through and hit the man. But three side shots would do nicely—head, chest, and hip.
The monster roared and tossed the man aside. This time, he did not get up. Travis faced the beast, putting a silver bullet between the creature’s eyes and through its heart. It fell to its knees, covered in its own blood and that of its would-be attacker, and leveled a baleful glare.
Angry red blisters criss-crossed the monster’s pale skin as the blessed silver worked its poison, fighting against the unholy energies that animated the beast. Travis reached for a flask on his belt and sloshed a measure of salted holy water into the creature’s ravaged face.
Travis raised a hand in blessing. “In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, let there be extinguished in you all power of the devil,” he intoned, making the sign of the cross. “Through this holy unction may the Lord pardon thee whatever sins or faults thou hast committed.”
The nachzeher that had once been a man named Rick Kohrs collapsed in a bloody heap on the floor.
About the Author:
Gail Z. Martin writes urban fantasy, epic fantasy and steampunk for Solaris Books, Orbit Books, Falstaff Books, SOL Publishing and Darkwind Press. Urban fantasy series include Deadly Curiosities and the Night Vigil (Sons of Darkness). Epic fantasy series include Darkhurst, the Chronicles Of The Necromancer, the Fallen Kings Cycle, the Ascendant Kingdoms Saga, and the Assassins of Landria. Newest titles include Tangled Web, Vengeance, The Dark Road, and Assassin’s Honor. As Morgan Brice, she writes urban fantasy MM paranormal romance. Books include Witchbane and Badlands.
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