Drax is a thrilling read from Ikenna Nwimo, the found of Blaque Falcon, that drops you into the dangerous world of illegal drugs, gambling, and murder set in the United Kingdom. Luke is a recent college graduate who has managed to find a well paying job, get a girlfriend, and maintain a relatively busy social life, but everything changes on the eve of Christmas Eve. His story finds itself connected to a detective named Frank, who is deeply embroiled in an investigation that has taken over his entire life.
Luke has become disenchanted with his life, but never would have expected that one night of poker would lead him down a dangerous path. One of his friends gets him embroiled in a high stakes game and after losing big, he only has 24 hours to pay the boss back. While he’s in shock, Luke meets Jacob, who is going to help him get the funds he needs by collecting some money from a not so savory character. This new duo winds up delving deeper and deeper into the criminal underworld. With all of this drama already unfolding all around him, Luke is even more surprised to find himself working with Frank on his hunt to uncover the source of a dangerous street drug named Kraken. Frank is a member of a secret criminal monitoring organization known as Drax and he also works as a police detective. This has led him to become deeply involved in the underworld and Luke suddenly seems like the perfect person to help him find the source of Kraken.
Nwimo’s writing style, primarily for Luke’s point of view, reminded me a great deal of Bret Easton Ellis’ American Psycho. Thankfully there are far fewer rats in Drax, but Luke’s dispossessed nature is similar to Patrick Bateman’s. His discussion of music and maintaining a good physique transported me back to that book immediately. Frank’s presentation in Drax embraces some of the more interesting elements of crime novels and has a gritty feel, reminiscent of BBC’s Luther. He has let his work tear his life apart and is also dealing with some of his own demons. His connection to Luke draws together the two narratives in a way that feels fated based on their similar natures. Drax will keep you guessing from start to finish and even if you think you have figured out who is behind everything you will be shocked by the end.
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