Half The Blood Of Brooklyn

This is the third instalment in the series of Joe Pitt books by Charlie Huston. Joe is a vampire, but don’t expect anything similar to Laurell K Hamilton’s porn filled romps or Stephanie Meyers heartbroken, misunderstood vamps here.  This is hardcore, violent and unrelenting, filled with politics, intrigue and twists.  This is a rollercoaster of a journey and you are dragged helplessly along for the ride.

Manhattan is divided into territories; The Coalition run the majority of it, these are the suits, the corporate face of the vampire, The Society, who Joe is now head of security for after being a rogue (non clan affiliated) vampire for the first two books, are run by a hippie, Terry Bird and are filled with New Agers and politically correct socialists.  It’s easy to forget just how ruthless and longsighted Terry is with his long hair and Jesus sandals.  The Enclave are the religious sect, they spend their days trying to become one with the Vyrus within them by starving it and pushing their bodies to the extreme, they are probably the most dangerous and unpredictable of the clans.

  Terry, in his bid to form alliances’ with other clans arranges for Joe to take a senior Society member over the Brooklyn bridge for a meeting with a new clan called The Freaks, but things go awry almost immediately as they are attacked and kidnapped almost on arrival.  A twisting, turning adventure ensues, encompassing betrayal, fratricide, fanaticism and a lot of blood.  It doesn’t help that Joe is distracted a lot of the time as his girlfriend Evie is in hospital dying of AIDs.  And we as readers are reminded that Joe himself, though he seems to have his own strange moral code, can be shockingly inhuman.  Joe is a complicated character and an interesting one and his own moral dilemma about saving Evie is interesting (if protracted).   This book ends with Joe’s world so shaken up it and shocking it left me slack jawed, desperate for more.

 Huston has a writing style all of his own, he is clever and quick, he has a dark and twisted humour and he can absorb you and shock you.  He has a pulp nourish style which is very American and the books adhere to his own form of grammar. No speech marks, and dashes used to mark where speech begins, when I read the first book it took me a little while to get used to it but it certainly works.  His mastery of dialogue led storytelling adds a lot of atmosphere.  I don’t think it is necessary for you to have read the first two books before this one to enjoy the story, but you would definitely get more out of it if you have. The first two are Already Dead and No Dominion and they are published by Orbit books.  Another five star rating from me, bring on the next one!

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