When life get stressful I find myself retreating to old favorites. Not the books of my childhood – those were dead boring – but books that I've read and loved and (possibly) reread. Often they’re books that I know by heart, and I read them again because there is comfort in knowing how the story ends. Other times I've reread them so many times because it’s an ongoing series, and I had a habit of reading the previous books in anticipation of the release of the newest title. With Bloodlist, by P.N. Elrod, it’s a combination of these factors.
Our hero is Jack Fleming, recently unemployed investigative reporter for a newspaper in New York. Prohibition has just ended and the country has hit the beginning of the Great Depression, so it’s not the greatest time to be quitting a job to search for greener pastures. Jack needed a change, though. A clean slate. What he gets is…well, he’s not really sure. All he can remember is waking up on the Chicago shore with fading scars and no need to breathe. Yep, Jack become one of the undead. It wasn't entirely unexpected, at least the possibility of becoming undead (he had a rather unusual girlfriend a few years back). But Jack has no idea how he died. Or who killed him. Or even what happened to him after he left his hotel almost a week ago. In the process of backtracking his steps to try and recover his memory Jack picks up a partner, private investigator Charles Escott. Escott is inquisitive, non-judgmental about Jack’s…er…condition, and extraordinarily, enthusiastically helpful. Which is good, since it turns out the mob is involved (well, it is Chicago) and Jack will need Escott’s less-savory contacts as part of their investigation.
This semi-noir detective novel is fairly short at about 200 pages. It’s well-written with decent character development – not spectacular but good enough to pull you in and make you care. There’s humor, a bit of romance, and lots of 1930’s mobster action along with much of the standard vampire fare and some not-so-standard vampire tricks. The author does a great job of putting supernatural flare into the era, and it’s a book I highly recommend.
Unfortunately, you can’t buy this single title in print anymore. But you can purchase the Vampire Files in Omnibus versions, with bundled titles packaged together. The price isn't too bad, especially for the ebook versions, and they’re pretty addictive.