Author: Charlie Huston
Original language: English
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. After two hard-boiled hits, Caught Stealing and Six Bad Things, Huston does an irresistible and fiendishly original take on the vampire myth. Manhattan is teeming with the undead, the island divided into often-warring vampire clans such as the Society, the Hood and the Enclave. The most powerful is the Coalition, whose goal is to protect its members from public scrutiny and persecution. Rogue PI Joe Pitt (aka Simon), who like all vampires is infected with a virus that requires him to drink blood regularly, is hired by Marilee Horde, a prominent New York socialite, to locate her runaway teenage daughter, Amanda, who may be slumming with homeless goth kids in the East Village. Meanwhile, a “carrier” is on the loose, infecting its victims with a bacterium that turns them into brain-eating zombies. The Coalition wants Pitt to find and destroy the carrier, since the carnage the zombies are causing brings unwanted attention to the undead community. Huston has fun playing with the conventions of the genre, creating his own hip update that will appeal to fans of Quentin Tarantino and Buffy the Vampire Slayer alike.
From Bookmarks Magazine
Already Dead is not for the squeamish. Even so, it surprised even critics who had never thought themselves fans of Count Dracula. Huston portrays a noirish, gritty, alter-Manhattan world, with political rivalries comprised of all sorts of vampires, even “revolutionary” gay and lesbian ones. The terse, hard-boiled prose and characters contain shades of Raymond Chandler, Hunter S. Thompson, and Quentin Tarantino, but are wholly original. Despite the novel’s sophistication, it’s not for everyone. “Huston deserves hardcover publication and will get it soon enough, but it’s probably true that this book’s core audience is among the young, the cool, the hip, and the unshockable” (Washington Post).
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 them
There’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 word.
From 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 City.
Now 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.