Brian Keene has been both praised and criticized for writing books that read like the novelizations of yet-to-be-made B-horror movies. Giant bugs, weird aliens, zombies, and action, action, action — a Keene novel is like a raucous night at a ’70s drive-in creature feature. Personally, I like Keene’s style, maybe because I like bad B-horror movies.
Keene has the chops to tackle weightier themes, like the bonds of father/son love in his breakout debut, The Rising, or the desperation of a terminally ill man in Terminal (Keene nails the concept of “breaking bad” years before the popular AMC show coined the phrase).
But Brian Keene’s Kill Whitey is a straight up grindhouse funfest that would make Russ Meyer or Quentin Tarantino proud. Don’t let the race-baiting title fool you: Whitey is a Russian mobster who may just be an immortal version of Rasputin the Mad Monk! Either way, the guy is harder to kill than Michael Myers. Toss in a sexy Russian stripper, and the obligatory “buddies-who-must-die,” and you’ve got Keene rolling full throttle, and the thrills, chills and suspense build to a satisfactory, if implausible, climax.
Kill Whitey won’t win any awards for originality, or literary achievement, or…well, anything really. But it’s a fun, fast ride that will leave you both queasy and exhilarated.