Thursday, March 06, 2008

Half the Blood of Brooklyn – review

Author: Charlie Hutson

First published: 2007

Contains spoilers

The Blurb: “There’s a bad vibe in the air…

“Every Vampyre in Manhattan feels it in their bones… and in their blood. The mother of all gang rumbles is brewing between the divided Clans of the City’s undead. A battle royal for more turf that will tear the island from stem to stern. And just his luck, Joe Pitt is smack in the middle of it.

“A rogue Vampyre, who shunned Clan life, Joe’s his own man. Kind of. Thing is, there’s certain people have a claim on his talents. When they need someone who’s… expendable, they call on Joe Pitt. They’re calling now.

“With war drums beating from the Hudson to the Harlem River, Joe’s been dispatched into the uncharted territory of Brooklyn to seal an alliance with the Freaks – a Clan who more than live up to their name. But across the bridge, things go south with savage swiftness, as Joe gets swept into a murderous family feud that will paint the borough scarlet from Gravesend to Coney Island.”

The Review: As I sat down to review this third Joe Pitt novel – the first two being Already Dead and No Dominion - I felt as though I had a little bit of a quandary, as the book is a direct continuation of the previous two and I do not want to spoil them.

This is the middle section of the planned series and, as such, is a shifting ground, where battle lines are drawn and characters are shuffled into place for the build up to the climax of the series. That is not to say that there is little going on, the book is a tour de force of pulp noir, and perhaps brings a little bit more of the supernatural aspects into focus within the story. Yet, at the same time, the book maintains a level of action and violence that keeps the pacing moving quickly. Kudos to Hutson for not loosing sight of the need to hook with this novel whilst he places the pieces upon the board.

In the previous reviews I mentioned the dialogue style and I just really want to say that I am obviously used to it as it clicked straight away with this novel, whilst it irked at first with the first two.

Perhaps the biggest downside to the books is the fact that, as these are told from Joe’s point of view, we know that Joe will always survive. That’s not to say that he doesn’t go through Hell – he does, and then some – but the sense of danger for the character is dulled ever so slightly.

Some of the freshest ideas in the genre at the moment, this series goes from strength to strength. 8 out of 10.

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