From writer Charlie Huston, the author of offbeat and unconventional hits like Caught Stealing and Six Bad Things, comes a tale of vampires in New York City: Already Dead. Joe Pitt is a 45-year old with the looks of a 25-year-old. It’s not Oil of Olay or Dove moisturizing soap that gives Joe his appearance, no – he’s a vampire. Pitt lives in this re-imagined Manhattan (Society clan turf) that is filled with the often-warring vampire clans: the Hood, the Society, the Coalition. But Pitt is a rogue, not aligning himself with any clan as he does his dirty deeds. He also has the ability to eat garlic (but hates it), suffers no ill effects from crosses, and can see himself in the mirror, all breaking the Bram Stoker mold of vampire rules.
Pitt, a PI, is hired to find Amanda, the teenaged daughter of socialite Marilee Horde. At the same time there is a “carrier” on the loose, carrier with a bacterium that turns its victims into brain-snacking zombies. The Coalition (the largest of the vampire clans) wants Pitt to find and destroy the carrier because the zombies are bringing way too much unwanted attention to the community of the undead. With tongue firmly planted in cheek, writer Charlie Huston spins a clever yarn that is both brutal and rich with Huston’s style.
“I smell them before I see them. All the powders and perfumes and oils the half-smart ones smear on themselves. The stupid ones just stumble around reeking. The really smart ones take a Goddamn shower. The water doesn’t help them in the long run, but the truth is, nothing is going to help them in the long run. In the long run they’re gonna die. Hell, in the long run they’re already dead.”
Overall, Already Dead is a gory but fun romp that is an exciting mix of Quentin Tarantino and J.R.R. Tolkien. At a hair under two hundred and seventy pages, Already Dead is a quick, hard-boiled hit in the same vein of Huston’s previous books.
Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. © Bobby Blades, 2006