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In the footsteps of Jim Butcher and his wizard detective Harry Dresden the field of supernatural investigators is getting quite crowded If you want to stand out, to get noticed, you need an angle, a marketing asset Charlie Huston has the writing skills to make the grade, but I am only half sold on his approach It seems to rely heavily on ultra violent, explicit gore fest and some heavy swearing, especially in the first chapters The horror elements do help in keeping the reader glued to the p In the footsteps of Jim Butcher and his wizard detective Harry Dresden the field of supernatural investigators is getting quite crowded If you want to stand out, to get noticed, you need an angle, a marketing asset Charlie Huston has the writing skills to make the grade, but I am only half sold on his approach It seems to rely heavily on ultra violent, explicit gore fest and some heavy swearing, especially in the first chapters The horror elements do help in keeping the reader glued to the pages, and the action is tense enough to make for a fast read, but I feel the violence and the bad boy posturing are actually just a smoke screen for the lack of originality in the plot a teenage girl goes missing and her stinking rich family hires a street smart but expendable freelance investigator to bring her back and the stock characters that populate the metropolis.The lead character is a combination of killing machine vampire and surprisingly numerous vulnerabilities, the most glaring of them a habit of not checking his back and being repeatedly knocked on the head After the third or fourth lights out incident I started to wonder why Joe is considered such a tough underworld vigilante It looks like even a toddler with a plastic hammer could take him out.In Joe s defense, the underworld is a scary and violent place to prowl around at night, even if you are a vampire predator A complication in the case of the missing teenager is the presence of a secret carrier for the deadly zombie virus, a case that also lands on Joe Pitt s plate To make matters worse, the alternative New York that is Joe Pitt s hunting ground is parceled out between rival vampire gangs, each fiercely defending its territory against intruders and poaching Joe Pit is a Rogue, as in unaffiliated with any of the major criminal vampire organizations in Manhattan, and his survival depends on playing one gang against another and making himself useful to them.In fact,than half of this debut novel is dedicated to the description of these various Manhattan gangs upper class businessmen, leftist guerillas, bikers, ethnic blacks, LGBT s, Italian mobsters, even a Zen like Shaolin monks organization The attention to detail in worldbuilding points out already that Charlie Huston is playing a long game and he prepares here the ground forJoe Pitt adventures.Romance is not easy for the undead, but Joe seems to still be a babe magnet after his transformation, with a couple of hot women chasing him I could take it or leave it, undecided for now if this angle adds or detracts from the story In the author s defense, femme fatales and gangster molls are a long established staple of the pulp fare There s room for improvement also in regard to adversaries, who suffer from a cardboard pastiche syndrome, being easy to spot and almost hilarious later in their evil mastermind disguise, explaining in detail their dastardly plans to the beaten up and hog tied hero, never imagining that he could somehow recover and beat their brains out view spoiler and what about that deus ex machina ghostly appearance that came and saved Joe at the critical moment hide spoiler Conclusion Good if you like modern supernatural pulp with a lot of violence Well written and fast paced, but predictable and not very original I m not sure I want to continue with the series Those stories you hear The ones about things that only come out at night Things that feed on blood, feed on us Got news for you they re true Only it s not like the movies or old man Stoker s storybook It s worse Especially if you happen to be one of themJustask Joe PittThere s a shambler on the loose Some fool who got himself infected with a flesh eating bacteria is lurching around, trying to munch on folks brains Joe hates shamblers, but he s still the one who has to deal with them That s just the kind of life he has Except afterlife might be better wordFrom the Battery to the Bronx, and from river to river, Manhattan is crawling with Vampyres Joe is one of them, and he s not happy about it Yeah, he gets to be stronger and faster than you, and he s tough as nails and hard to kill But spending his nights trying to score a pint of blood to feed the Vyrus that s eating at him isn t his idea of a good time And Joe doesn t make it any easier on himself Going his own way, refusing to ally with the Clans that run the undead underside of Manhattan it ain t easy It s worse once he gets mixed up with the Coalition the city s most powerful Clan and finds himself searching for a poor little rich girl who s gone missing in Alphabet CityNow the Coalition and the girl s high society parents are breathing down his neck, anarchist Vampyres are pushing him around, and a crazy Vampyre cult is stalking him No time to complain, though Got to find that girl and kill that shambler before the whip comes down and before the sun comes up I m a man, does things, gets things done I m a handyman Someone has a problem they maybe call me and I maybe help to take care of the problem.Joe Pitt is not a detective He has no license or even an office Yet when somebody needs someone found, he s the guy for the job.A woman is going to call you today with a problem You will offer her your assistance Whatever it is she asks of you, you shall do it Efficiently and, need I say it, discreetly Yes Yet another noir story revolving around th I m a man, does things, gets things done I m a handyman Someone has a problem they maybe call me and I maybe help to take care of the problem.Joe Pitt is not a detective He has no license or even an office Yet when somebody needs someone found, he s the guy for the job.A woman is going to call you today with a problem You will offer her your assistance Whatever it is she asks of you, you shall do it Efficiently and, need I say it, discreetly Yes Yet another noir story revolving around the missing daughter of a wealthy family it worked so well for Chandler and Hammett and the tough guy hired to track her down Only in this book, there s a catch.His chest is covered with dozens of slash marks and the blood oozes and pools in his lap My mouth begins to water.Yep Joe s a vampire You thought you had problemstry finding a missing girl when you haven t had a pint of blood in days This wasn t bad I enjoyed Huston s writingthan I did the plot, particularly a rather convoluted bit about vampy politics and warring factions I m curious enough to want to check out the second book, though, so that s something.I ll give it four stars, though the last star is kind of anemic I loved this very original take on the vampire from Charlie Huston What s not to like about a Lone Wolf hired gun blood sucker like Joe Pitt Great details about the various vampire factions and families inhabiting the underworld of modern day Manhattan are also superb ALREADY DEAD is one of just a handful of great modern vampire novels. 1977 NYC CBGBs ramones on stage some suit offers simon twenty bucks to let him suck his dick sure a mouth s a mouth simon pops off, and takes another twenty to give the guy a handjob guy pushes his face into simon s neck, bares his fangs, and bam instavamp let that scene serve as a microcosm of this sloppy pulpy drunken joyride of a book it s kinda absurd having all this happen at the place in the year seeing the band but it s also kinda so fucked up and fun we ignore the autho 1977 NYC CBGBs ramones on stage some suit offers simon twenty bucks to let him suck his dick sure a mouth s a mouth simon pops off, and takes another twenty to give the guy a handjob guy pushes his face into simon s neck, bares his fangs, and bam instavamp let that scene serve as a microcosm of this sloppy pulpy drunken joyride of a book it s kinda absurd having all this happen at the place in the year seeing the band but it s also kinda so fucked up and fun we ignore the author s anachronistic invasions.anyway twenty eight years later simon s changed his name to joe pitt and is a fixture on the LES scene with a hot little LES bartender girlfriend and plenty of work as a detective, money collector, etc and yeah, he s also a vampyre huston s carved out a pretty cool world here manhattan s filled with bloodsuckers and they don t all share the same philosophy uptown you got The Society LES filled with The Coalition west village The Enclave you got some 60s leftover vampyres, a gay and lesbian faction, a group that wants to come out and try to work a deal with normal society, a group of suicide vampyres led by creepy as shit daniel but fuck all that joe s a Rogue does some work for all of em, but part of none ain t his style scrape up some dough, watch old movies with evie, slug cheap whiskey, kick some ass, drink some blood huston s great at all that his manhattan, crawling with vampyres who are very careful not to attract attention frequenty they prey on a drunk chick or drug addict or homeless dude and rather than kill em, they knock em out, drain a pint of blood and fix , is well constructed, smart, complete and i must admit to having a particular fondness in that my twenties were spent on the LES so i had that flash of recognition every time he mentioned a pizza joint where i d sucked down a slice or a bar at which i d puked out the bathroom what huston s not so good at are the mechanics of the genre for example three times in this book of 268 pgs joe gets knocked over the head and dragged unconscious to the bad guys lair beyond the plot contrivance, this illuminates a larger problem joe s a pretty passive hero people keep approaching him, people come from behind and knock him out, people feed him information and save him from an otherwise certain death huston took great pains to describe joe as a crafty badass toughguy, but the actions of the book tell a different story it s important to show a hero with vulnerability, but it s also important that s he be the captain of his her fate.all in all, a damn enjoyable book i just ordered the next three in the series i hear joe ventures into the other boroughs fuck rumor says it s full of savages no order crazy vampyres part of no Clan, just taking people out watch it joe a shout out to donkey don for recommending this bitch can wax poetic on du fu, coetzee, or rimbaud and in the next breath throw some pulped out crime shit winslow, nunn, etc that goosebumps the fuck outta ya yay donkey don I liked this book It was a refreshing change of pace from the female protagonist romance vampire thing that has become a cliche of the vampire novel It was gritty and real, like a hard boiled detective story from the 30 s. Unfortunately this generic vampire novel just didn t seem memorable to me There are only a few vampire books I actually like, and most others in the sub genre seem way too focused on gory shock value, pretentious characters and excessive blood It s predictable, it s typical, it s boring, and this book is no exception. Already Dead is a rollicking, no holds barred film noir vampire pastiche Main protagonist Joe Pitt is a Mike Hammer with fangs and no suntan As low vamp on the totem pole, Pitt gets it from all sides of the undead crime underground Picking no side and forced to do favors here and there for the various vampire factions just to survive, he is pushed into a job to find a missing girl which develops into a complex scheme that would make Phillip Marlow s head spin The combination of vampire and g Already Dead is a rollicking, no holds barred film noir vampire pastiche Main protagonist Joe Pitt is a Mike Hammer with fangs and no suntan As low vamp on the totem pole, Pitt gets it from all sides of the undead crime underground Picking no side and forced to do favors here and there for the various vampire factions just to survive, he is pushed into a job to find a missing girl which develops into a complex scheme that would make Phillip Marlow s head spin The combination of vampire and gumshoe is played to perfection with Charlie Huston s nail biting style of writing keeping the reader glued to the book until the end This is the first of a series It is currently available for the kindle as a free book with the idea that you will buy the rest of the series when the author decides to treat us toJoe Pitt adventure It worked I m hooked.P.S I just discovered Already Dead was originally released in 2005 and there are already fournovels in the series YippeP.S.S No longer free Huston brings his signature noir style to a dark, urban fantasy Manhattan where the protagonist is a vampire.I liked the first half of the book better than the second, mostly because I found one of the characters a teenage girl speaking in a voice that didn t sound as authentic as the rest of Huston s characters Everything else in the book is so well crafted and so interesting, it was very jarring to me.I wasn t surprised very often, maybe because I read so much Huston I can sense when things Huston brings his signature noir style to a dark, urban fantasy Manhattan where the protagonist is a vampire.I liked the first half of the book better than the second, mostly because I found one of the characters a teenage girl speaking in a voice that didn t sound as authentic as the rest of Huston s characters Everything else in the book is so well crafted and so interesting, it was very jarring to me.I wasn t surprised very often, maybe because I read so much Huston I can sense when things are being set up This didn t bother me at all, though, because I found Joe Pitt such an incredibly compelling character, even if he s no Henry Thompson an unfair comparison, but since I m such a fan of Huston s other works, it s one I can t help but make It s imperfect, but I still felt it was time well spent, and a welcome reintroduction for me not only to vampire novels, but to dark urban fantasy, as well This was really fun I like these genre twisting books This one is about a guy who works for the Vampyre clans of NYC These clans are usually competing groups who control the paranormal interests of Manhattan and greater NYC One clan, The Coalition, controls the area above 14th street, up past Central Park, to around 116th street Another clan, The Society, runs the area below 14th with other pockets of smaller clans, as well, through out Manhattan and the outer Burroughs These clans are com This was really fun I like these genre twisting books This one is about a guy who works for the Vampyre clans of NYC These clans are usually competing groups who control the paranormal interests of Manhattan and greater NYC One clan, The Coalition, controls the area above 14th street, up past Central Park, to around 116th street Another clan, The Society, runs the area below 14th with other pockets of smaller clans, as well, through out Manhattan and the outer Burroughs These clans are comprised of local vampyres and they keep the peace among the supernaturals and the humans.Joe Pitt is an enforcer but he has gone rogue and refuses to affiliate himself with any of the other clans But he does good work, and he always has one or the other of the clans asking for his assistance In this tale, he is asked by the head of The Coalition to find a local big wigs missing daughter The big wig is the head of a leading Bio Tech firm who is not a supernatural but is in the know on the status quo of vampyres and other non humans in the area Joe reluctantly takes the job but as is usual, things quickly go from bad to worse when someone beats the crap out of Joe then steals his blood stash so he cannot heal.A combination of noir and horror with a little vampyre and zombie thrown in for fun, I had a great time reading this Check it out if you liked the Mike Carey Fix Castor series