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Bloody Good Reads

The current popularity of the "Twilight" series of books and movies have made the Vampire yet again a media darling. Let's face it though, the sun-sparkling, non-people eating vampires of "Twilight" were designed for a certain audience, those looking for a romance story.

If you like your vampire stories with (if you'll pardon the pun) "more bite," more moral ambiguity, and a lot less teen angst, you'll want to try Charlie Huston's series of Joe Pitt Casebooks. The Joe Pitt series takes place in a Manhattan that's been secretly divided by rival vampire gangs with different philosophical viewpoints on the world and the vampire's place in it. Pitt is a vampire who tries to remain neutral by taking on private detective style jobs for the various clans, which usually have the unfortunate side effect of putting him in the line of fire of a lot angry and violent individuals.

The series borrows some from Richard Mattheson's classic vampire novel "I am Legend" in that vampirism is looked at scientifically and treated as a virus, but there are supernatural undercurrents throughout the the series. The tone of the series is a perfectly blended cocktail of brutal grey tinged noir stories, and bloodthirsty horror.

So if you like your vampire stories to be brutal, bloody, and most of all fun, pick up the first installment of the Joe Pitt series "Already Dead". Volume 2 of the series is titled "No Dominion". Book three is "Half the Blood of Brooklyn". The fourth and penultimate chapter in the series is "Every Last Drop", and the series concludes this fall with the release of the final book, "My Dead Body".