“[Charlie Huston’s] action scenes are unparalleled in crime fiction and his dialogue is so hip and dead-on that Elmore Leonard should be getting nervous.”
–Publishers Weekly (starred review), on Half the Blood of Brooklyn
It’s like this: a series of bullet-riddled bad breaks has seen rogue Vampyre and terminal tough guy Joe Pitt go from PI for hire to Clan-connected enforcer to dead man walking in a New York minute. And after burning all his bridges, the only one left to cross leads to the Bronx, where Joe’s brass knuckles and straight razor can’t keep him from running afoul of a sadistic old bloodsucker with a bad bark and a worse bite. Even if every Clan in Manhattan is hollering for Joe’s head on a stick, it’s got to be better than trying to survive in the outer-borough wilderness.
So it’s a no-brainer when Clan boss Dexter Predo comes looking to make a deal. All Joe has to do to win back breathing privileges on his old turf is infiltrate an upstart Clan whose plan to cure the Vyrus could expose the secret Vampyre world to mortal eyes and set off a panic-driven massacre. Not cool. But Joe’s all over it. To save the Undead future, he just has to wade neck-deep through all the archenemies, former friends, and assorted heavy hitters he’s crossed in the past. No sweat? Maybe not, but definitely more blood than he’s ever seen or hungered for. And maybe even some tears–over the horror and heartbreaking truth about the evil men do no matter who or what they are.
Praise for Charlie Huston and his Joe Pitt novels
“In conceiving his world (a New York City divided by vampire clans, each with different reasons to hate Pitt), Huston gives a fading genre a fresh afterlife. [Grade:] A.”
“[Huston] creates a world that is at once supernatural and totally familiar, imaginative, and utterly convincing.”
–The Philadelphia Inquirer
In this fascinatingly flawed fourth episode in the bloody horror-noir chronicles of New York vampire PI Joe Pitt (after 2007's Half the Blood Of Brooklyn), relations between the city's vampire clans are unraveling. The Cure is researching antidotes to the ravenous vampire-creating Vyrus, while the better-nourished Coalition seeks the Cure's downfall and the Society plays both sides. Dodging death threats and brokering shaky deals, Pitt shuttles among all three until he learns the Coalition's secret, a revelation so volatile that it may lead to all-out war. Huston supplies terse dialogue and convincing gore in expertly pitched prose, but the beautifully cinematic nastiness doesn't quite mask a key difficulty: Pitt's enemies set their hate aside too easily at his appearance, and their rational behavior is at odds with the emotional intensity (and sheer implausibility) of the climax. Newcomers may find the relationships difficult to parse, but those familiar with the series should be enthralled.