Review: Savage Nights by W.D. Gagliani

I made the mistake of starting Gagliani’s Savage Nights while on vacation relaxing. Big mistake. This is not a sit by the pool and relax book. This is a drag you to the edge of your seat and keep you biting your nails for hours book. Gagliani holds no punches and once I got sucked into the story I had a hard time putting it down.

Rich Brant is a Vietnam Vet who is still haunted by his days as a rat in the tunnels of Vietnam, but a new nightmare begins when he is awoken in the dead of night by a phone call from his good-for-nothing brother. His dearly beloved niece, Kit, is missing, kidnapped from a crowded mall. All the clues point to her being dragged into an international sex slave ring and Brant knows time is short. Old grudges with the police chief bring Brant to work Colgrave, a capable female detective who has her own vendettas and demons. Brant must use all his resources, including a strange psychic gift, to find Kit before it’s too late.

First and foremost, this book is not for the faint of heart. There is graphic, forced sex, murder, mutilation, war, etc. There were a few sections that made me feel like I’d been hit in the gut, but that kept me reading even faster to find out what was going to happen. There were twists and turns that left me gasping and I do highly recommend Savage Nights if you enjoy fast-paced thrillers.

There is a lot of military and weapon terminology thrown around but it was never totally overwhelming or fought with the story. The parts I enjoyed most were in the ways that Brant’s past in the tunnels played into his present world of finding Kit and I was thrilled when a tunnel like fight arrives at the climax. It felt like everything coming full circle.

The characters are well-developed though I would have liked to see more about Colgrave because I enjoyed her interactions with Brant so much. I was also glad to see that there were so many strong female characters in Savage Nights since many thrillers cast women as strictly the ‘damsel in distress’.

Gagliani does shift perspectives fairly regularly in the novel but he is quick to tell you what character’s perspective you are in so it does not get confusing. These varying perspectives help give a more rounded and clear understanding of what is going. Not to mention makes you more on the edge of your seat since you know what is happening to Kit as Brant searches for her.

This is one of the few novels that I actually wanted more from the ending. I wanted to see what happened to these characters after the grand finale. Gagliani handles Brant’s traumas from the Vietnam War so well that I was very curious to see his descriptions of Kit’s coming to terms with what has happened to her, as well as what happened to the other characters at the close of the novel.

I think part of that desire comes from the Kindle’s percentage complete bar at the bottom at the screen. The novel ends at 86% complete because there are several wonderful excerpts from other works, but because I was only at 86%, I was anticipating more story and felt cut off when that was simply the end.

All in all, I cannot recommend Savage Nights  enough. Gagliani has crafted a scary, nail-biting, make-you-sick thriller that doesn’t hold punches or back away from the ugly side of war, death, and modern-day sex slavery.

You can buy Savage Nights here.



  1. […] we have a super awesome guest post from the fantastic W.D Gagliani (whose novel I reviewed some time ago). He was gracious enough to put up a post about something I’ve written very […]

  2. […] Savage Nights by W.D. Gagliani […]

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