Dave's Free Press: Journal

violence, pornography, and rude words for the web generation

 

Recent posts

(subscribe)

Recently commented posts

(subscribe)

Journals what I read

geeky politics rant silly religion meta music perl weird drinking culture london language transport sport olympics hacking media maths web photography etiquette spam amazon books film bastards bryar holidays palm telecoms cars travel yapc bbc clothes rsnapshot phone whisky security home radio lolcats deafness environment curry art work privacy iphone linux unix go business engineering kindle gps economics latin anglo-saxon money crime bramble horror cars environment electronics
Sun, 26 May 2013

Already Dead, by Charlie Huston

I bought this book because some other author recommended it on their blog. That's a great way to find good things to read, and you should do it too. Most authors, at least in so-called genre fiction, have one these days, and I recommend that you track down those of your favourite half dozen and read them occasionally. You'll learn a lot about reading and writing, about how the publishing industry and book trade work, but most importantly, you'll learn about more authors to read. In this case, I wouldn't have bought the book without a recommendation, because a cursory glance at the description on Amazon makes it look like a vampire book. And even worse, it's a mis-spelt "vampyre" book.

The "vampyres" of this tale aren't, thankfully, some magic walking corpses, but are people with a disease - one caused by the also annoyingly mis-spelled "Vyrus" - which makes them crave blood and be unusually sensitive to sunlight. The hero of the tale, one Joe Pitt, is one of them, and manages to live alone instead of in one of the vampire "clans" that make up the criminal underworld of his city, by doing odd jobs for the clans and working as an enforcer and private investigator. So really it isn't a vampire tale at all, it's a noir crime thriller.

It has all the clichés that you'd expect in that genre - the loner hero, violence, fast-talking, double-crosses, femmes fatales and so on - but rises above being cliché by extremely sharp writing, great humour, and a wide variety of characters (there are few mere cardboard cutouts) with distinctive voices. There are a couple of somewhat irritating questions left unanswered at the end, for which I deduct a star, but perhaps they are answered in a sequel, of which there are four. Overall, I recommend this book.

Posted at 20:50 by David Cantrell
keywords: books | crime | horror
Permalink | 0 Comments

Sorry, this post is too old for you to comment on it.

Archive