How innovative a suspense writer is Charlie Huston? So innovative that heís pretty much crafted his own genre: horror noir. Now, maybe there are others who have combined the dark worlds of crime fiction and horror fiction before, but I donít know of any. Huston, meanwhile, is on his second book in this sub genre, No Dominion. The novel continues the saga of Joe Pitt, first begun in
Already Dead (which I admittedly didnít read. But I plan to).
Joe is your typical noir hero: jaded, cynical, intent on alienating everyone around him, including the woman he loves. Oh, and heís also a vampire. Or, as he says, heís infected with the ďVyrus.Ē Joe acts less like a fearsome creature of the night and more like any other sad sack who hates his lot in life.
At the start of the book, Joe is running low both on money and the bags of blood he keeps in his fridge. To keep himself fed, he takes a job tracking down a new drug thatís hit the vampire community. Joe determines to find out where the drug came from and why itís suddenly circulating and driving some members of his ilk into a frenzy resembling a bad acid trip. Like any other noir
leading man, Joeís search leads to a serious of double and triple crosses, colorful characters and bloodshed.
Hustonís previous books have included the excellent Henry Thompson series, which tracked a regular guyís metamorphosis into a cold-blooded killer. Here, he creates a convincing world (or underworld, as it were) of quirky, morally ambiguous people. The fact that they feast on blood makes them doubly fascinating. No Dominion falters a bit toward the end, but overall, itís a cleverly, gory, tightly wound tale that should satisfy fans of both horror and noir.