Reason for reading: The book received surprisingly good reviews, and it’s about vampires. That’s good enough for me.
Quote: “I take that second breath and sure enough, there it is underneath: the sweet, subtle tang of something not quite dead. Something freshly rotting.”
There is an underworld in New York that most aren’t aware of. Clans of Vampyres that battle over turf, each claiming their own part of Manhattan Island. Joe Pitt is one of them, only he’s a loner. He takes odd jobs handed down from those who run the clans. And he’s got his hands full. A zombie is on the loose, a shambler, turning others into brain eating undead. But that’s not all, the daughter of a high society couple is missing. It’s up to Joe to take down the shambler and find the girl.
Joe Pitt is a tough guy, but he’s a small fish in a big pond, and he knows it. More often than not he’s on the wrong side of a hard fist. But that’s what this kind of book is about. It’s got that old noir feeling. And besides, Vampyres can take more than there fair share of abuse.
Most of the myths remain intact. Can’t go out in the sun, need blood to survive, superhuman strength. But it breaks some of the traditions as well. Garlic doesn’t hurt, but Joe hates the taste, and they can see their reflection in a mirror. Can’t speak for the old stake in the heart. Those sort of cliches are part of the package. But there’s fun in seeing how Huston uses them in the story and how he breaks from some of the others.
Already Dead is a strange and entertaining twist on crime fiction. This isn’t a book for the faint of heart. It has plenty of violence, plenty of blood and plenty of harsh language. Huston may not be brilliant in his prose but he knows what he’s doing. This is a quick read that always keeps you wanting more, and guessing at what’s coming next.