Author: P.N. Elrod
Series: Vampire Files #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Gangsters, Paranormal fantasy, Vampire noir
Publisher: Ace Fantasy
5th sentence, 74th page: Escott was standing on the fender of the Nash, craning to get a better view of things.
I’ve always had a weak spot for strange ladies. One very beautiful girl had even warned me that she was get this a vampire. But did I listen? No. Before you know it, I m being chased by an ugly thug with a gun, and a bullet blasts its way through my back, and believe it or not nothing happened. I survived! How? You guessed it. I, Jack Fleming, ace reporter, have been transformed into a vampire. Which has its advantages. You never die, you never grow old, you sleep all day…and best of all, you can hunt down your own murderer. This is the first book in the exciting vampire adventure series, The Vampire Files.
I am mildly obsessed with this story. It was a beautiful tale of the noir persuasion, set in Chicago in the 1930s. It was fiddled with mobsters and gangsters. Beautiful club singers and tough private detectives. And, also, a vampire. It worked just beautifully.
Jack Fleming is one of my favourite characters – he strikes me as gangly and a little odd. Somebody that doesn’t quite fit in, but still has found his own way in the world. Yet, for all of this, he is incredibly fun and not self-conscious at all. He just has this fun, gumptious way of living, that, even though he is undead, carries throughout the tale. His characterisation provides a great, fun counterpoint to the rest of the tale which is quite dark and convoluted.
I haven’t read many books that feature the 1930s. Or Chicago gangsters for that matter. So this was a fun, new world to step into. And there is something about this genre, this time in history, this style, that makes the story kind of fun and nostalgic. It almost makes you think of a “simpler time” as jack battles to unravel the mysteries of his own death.
Unlike most vampire tales, this one left me with some amazing dreams – dreams of the 1930s and prohibition and the romanticism of crime. Alright, this might not have all been realistically within the same time period, but in my brain they work seamlessly and now I can’t wait to see how the next of Jack’s adventures goes.