Already Dead (Joe Pitt Series #1)

Already Dead (Joe Pitt Series #1)

by Charlie Huston

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Overview

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. Just ask Joe Pitt.

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.

Praise for Charlie Huston

"Rocks and rolls from the first page. This is one mean, cold, slit-eyed mother of a book, and Charlie Huston is the real deal." -- Peter Straub, on Six Bad Things

"[A] wrong-man plot worthy of Hitchcock." -- Entertainment Weekly (Editor’s Choice), on Caught Stealing

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781433235825
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Publication date: 07/01/2008
Series: Joe Pitt Series , #1
Edition description: Unabridged
Pages: 1
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.40(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Charlie Huston is the author of the bestsellers The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death and The Shotgun Rule, as well as the Henry Thompson trilogy, the Joe Pitt casebooks, and several titles for Marvel Comics. He lives with his family in Los Angeles.

Read an Excerpt

Already Dead


By Charlie Huston

Random House

Charlie Huston
All right reserved.

ISBN: 034547824X


Chapter One

I smell them before I see them. All the powders, perfumes and oils the half-smart ones smear on themselves. The stupid ones just stumble around reeking. The really smart ones take a Goddamn shower. The water doesn't help them in the long run, but the truth is, nothing is gonna help them in the long run. In the long run they're gonna die. Hell, in the long run they're already dead.

So this pack is half-smart. They've splashed themselves with Chanel No. 5, Old Spice, whatever. Most folks just think they have a heavy hand at the personal scent counter. I close my eyes and inhale deeper, because it could just be a group of bridge and tunnelers in from Jersey or Long Island. But it's not. I take that second breath and sure enough, there it is underneath: the sweet, subtle tang of something not quite dead. Something freshly rotting. I'm betting they're the ones I'm looking for. And why wouldn't they be? It's not like these things are thick on the ground. Not yet. I walk a little farther down Avenue A and stop at the sidewalk window of Nino's, the pizza joint on the corner of St. Marks.

I rap on the counter with the ring on my middle finger and one of the Neapolitans comes over.

--Yeah?

--What's fresh?

He looks blank.

--The pizza, what's just out of the oven?

--Tomato and garlic.

--No way, no fucking garlic. How 'bout the broccoli, it been out all day?

He shrugs.

--Fine, give me the broccoli. Not too hot, I don't want to burn the roof of my mouth.

He cuts a slice and slides it into the oven to warm up. I could eat the tomato and garlic if I wanted to. It's not like the garlic would hurt me or anything. I just don't like the shit.

While I wait I lean on the counter and watch the customers inside the joint. The usual crowd for a Friday night: couple drunk NYU kids, couple drunk greasers, a drunk squatter, two drunk yuppies on an East Village adventure, a couple drunk hip-hoppers, and the ones I'm looking for. There are three of them standing around the far corner table: an old-school goth chick, and two rail-thin guys, with impossibly high cheekbones, that have fashion junkie written all over them. The kind of guys who live in a squat but make the fashion-week scene by virtue of the skag they bring to the parties. Just my favorite brand of shitdogs all in all.

--Broccoli.

The Neapolitan is back with my slice. I hand him three bucks. The goth and the fashion junkies watch the two NYU kids stumble out the door. They push their slices around for another minute, then follow. I sprinkle red pepper flakes on my slice and take a big bite, and sure enough it's too hot and I burn the roof of my mouth. The pizza jockey comes back and tosses my fifty cents change on the counter. I swallow, the molten cheese scorching my throat.

--I told you not too hot.

He shrugs. All the guy has to do all day is throw slices in the oven and take them out when they're ready. Ask for one not too hot and you might as well be requesting coq au vin. I grab my change, toss the slice back on the counter and take off after the junkies and the goth chick. Fucking thing had garlic in the sauce anyway.

The NYU kids have crossed the street to cut through Tompkins Square before the cops shut it down at midnight. The trio lags behind about eight yards back, walking past the old water fountain with Faith, Hope, Temperance, Charity carved in the stone above it. The kids reach the opposite side of the park and keep heading east on Ninth Street, deeper into Alphabet City. Great.

This block of 9th between Avenues B and C is barren, as in empty of everyone except the NYU kids, their trailers and me.

The junkies and the goth pick up the pace. I stroll. They're not going anywhere without my seeing it. What they want to do takes a bit of privacy. Better for me if they get settled someplace where they feel safe, before I move in.

They're right on the kids now. They move into a dark patch under a busted streetlamp and spread out, one on either side of the kids and one behind. There's a scuffle, movement and noise, and they all disappear. Fuck.

I jog up the street and take a look. On my left is an abandoned building. It used to be a Puerto Rican community center and performance space, before that it was a P.S. Now it's just condemned.

I follow the scent up the steps and across the small courtyard to the graffiti-covered doors. They've been chained shut for a few years, but tonight the chain is hanging loose below the hacksawed hasp of a giant Master lock. Looks like they prepped this place in advance of their ambush. Looks like they may be a little more than half-smart.

I ease the door open and take a look. Hallway goes straight for about twelve yards then hits a T intersection. Dark. That's OK. I don't mind the dark. The dark is just fine. I slip in, close the door behind me and take a whiff. They're here, smells like they've been hanging out for a couple days. I hear the first scream and know where to go. Up to the intersection, down the hall to the right, and straight to the open classroom door.

One of the NYU kids is facedown on the floor with the goth chick kneeling on his back. She's already shoved her knife through the back of his neck, killing him. Now she's trying to jam the blade into his skull so she can split it open. The junkie guys stand by, waiting for the piñata to bust.

The other kid has jammed himself in a corner in the obligatory pool of his own fear-piss. His eyes are rolling around and he's making the high-pitched noise that people make when they're so scared they might die from it. I hate that noise.

I hear something crunchy.

The chick has the knife in. She gives it a wrenching twist and the dead kid's skull cracks open. She claws her fingers into the crack, gets a good grip and pulls, tearing the kid's head open like a piece of rotted fruit. A pomegranate. The junkies edge closer as she starts scooping out clumps of brain. Too late for that kid, so I wait a couple seconds more, watching them as they start to eat, and listening to the other kid's moaning go up another octave. Then I do my job.

It takes me three silent steps to reach the first one. My right arm loops over his right shoulder. I grab his face with my right hand while my left hand grips the back of his head. I jerk sharply clockwise, pulling up at the same time. I feel his spinal cord tear and drop him, grabbing the second one's hair before the first one hits the ground. The chick is getting up off the kid's corpse, coming at me with the knife. I punch the second junkie in the throat and let him drop. It won't kill him, but he'll stay down for a second. The chick whips the knife in a high arc and the tip rakes my forehead. Blood oozes from the cut and into my eyes.

Whatever she was before she got bit, she knew a little about using a knife, and still remembers some of it. She's hanging back, waiting for her pal to get up so they can take me together. I measure the blank glaze in her eyes. Yeah, there's still a little of her at home. Enough to order pizza and pick out these kids as marks, enough to cut through a lock, but not enough to be dangerous. As long as I'm not stupid. I step in and she thrusts at me with the knife. I grab the blade.

She looks from me to the knife. I'm holding it tightly, blood spilling out between my clenched fingers. The dim light in her eyes gets minutely brighter as something gives her the word: she's fucked. I twist the knife out of her hand, toss it in the air and catch it by the handle. She turns to run. I grab the back of her leather jacket, step close and jam the knife into her neck at the base of her skull, chopping her medulla in half. I leave the knife there and let her drop to the floor. The second junkie is just getting back up. I kick him down, put my boot on his throat and stomp, twisting my foot back and forth until I hear his neck snap.

I kneel and wipe my hand on his shirt. My blood has already coagulated and the cuts in my hand have stopped bleeding, likewise the cut in my forehead. I check the bodies. One of the guys is missing a couple teeth and has some lacerations on his gums. Looks like he's been chewing someone's skull. Probably it belonged to the clown I took care of a couple days ago, the one with the hole in his head who tipped me off to this whole thing. Anyway, his teeth aren't what I'm interested in.

Both guys have small bites on the backs of their necks. The bite radius and size of the tooth marks make me take a look at the girl's mouth. Looks like a match. Figure she bit these two and infected them with the bacteria. Happens that way sometimes. Generally a person gets infected, the bacteria starts chewing on their brain and pretty soon they're reduced to the simple impulse to feed. But sometimes, before they reach that point, they infect a few others. They take a bite, but don't eat the whole meal if you get me. No one really knows why. Some sob sisters would tell you it's because they're lonely. But that's bullshit. It's the bacteria compelling them, spreading itself. It's fucking Darwin doing his thing.

I check the girl's neck. She infected the others, but something infected her first. The bite's been marred by the knife I stuck in her, but it's there. It's bigger than the others, more violent. In fact, there are little nips all over her neck. Fucking carrier that got her couldn't decide if it wanted to just infect her or eat her. Whatever, all the same to me. Except it means the job isn't done yet. Means there's a carrier still out there. I start to stand up. But something else; a smell on her. I kneel next to her and take a whiff. Something moves behind me.

The other NYU kid. Right, forgot about him. He's trying to dig his way through the wall. I walk over to him. I'm just about to pop him in the jaw when he does the job for me and passes out. I look him over. No bites. Now normally I wouldn't do this, but I lost a little blood and I never got to eat my pizza, so I'm pretty hungry. I take out my works and hook the kid up. I'll only take a pint. Maybe two.

The phone wakes me in the morning. Why the hell someone is calling me in the morning I don't know, so I let the machine get it.

--This is Joe Pitt. Leave a message.

--Joe, it's Philip.

I don't pick up the phone, not for Philip Sax. I close my eyes and try to find my way back to sleep.

--Joe, I think maybe I got something if ya can pick up the phone.

I roll over in bed and pull the covers up to my chin. I try to remember what I was dreaming about so I can get myself back there.

--I don't wanna bug ya, Joe, but I figure ya gotta be in. It's ten in the morning, where ya gonna be?

Sleep crawls off into a corner where I can't find it and I pick up the damn phone.


Excerpted from Already Dead by Charlie Huston Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Interviews

Explorations Interview with Charlie Huston

Paul Goat Allen: Charlie, I have to tell you right off the bat -- in the almost ten years I've been reviewing books for B&N, I don't think I've ever heard as much raving pre-press buzz for one novel. After the wildly successful Caught Stealing and Six Bad Things, what was your motivation for releasing a vampire noir novel at this time?

Charlie Huston: Well, I wish I could say that there was some strategy here, but the truth is that it just kind of worked out like this. After I had finished both Caught Stealing and Six Bad Things -- but months before either had published -- I was looking to sell another book. (That's what happens after your advance money is gone!) There were certain limits on what kind of book I might be able to pitch to publishers at that time without raising the ire of my friends at Random House/Ballantine. Horror was one of them.

As fate would have it, Already Dead was a project I had at the back of a drawer. I fleshed it out, and my agent took it to my editor at Ballantine for a first-look courtesy and, quite unexpectedly, he liked it. The fact that it's being released after I have two straight thrillers already out there is utterly random. So I guess you could say that my motivation for releasing a vampire novel at this time is that I was trying not to starve too much about two years ago.

PGA: One of the beauties of this novel is its cross-genre appeal -- mystery, horror, and dark fantasy fans are all going to be attracted to a story like this. Was that a conscious decision on your part to write a genre-transcendent novel?

CH: Not at first. Initially I had the idea for a vampire story with a kind of tough-guy vamp at its center. Out the gate I was trying hard to avoid many of the standard noir P.I. clichés. At some point I flipped and went for the opposite. I started rereading Chandler and Hammett, actively trying to get that stoic, wisecracking kind of voice in my head. Eventually it started to flow pretty naturally. Embracing some of those hardcore noir conventions has been much of the fun in writing the books so far.

PGA: Speaking of Raymond Chandler, I've read that he called his iconic protagonist, Philip Marlowe, his alter ego. How similar to -- or different from -- Charlie Huston is Joe Pitt?

CH: [We're] not similar at all. Joe is a tough, capable, and pretty damn smart loner who wants nothing from no one. I'm a pushover. I can barely cross a street without being run over; I'm dumb as a stump, can't sleep when my wife is away, and live for my family and friends. But the drinking blood thing and all that kind of stuff, yeah, that's pretty much all me.

PGA: After creating such a memorable realm -- the vampyre underworld of New York City -- and such cool characters, there have to be several more projected Joe Pitt novels in the future, right? (I'm crossing my fingers as I ask this…)

CH: I can assure you at least one more. I've already written a sequel called No Dominion that will come out next year [2006]. If I have my way I'll write a total of five or six. I pitched the Joe Pitt Casebooks as a terminal series. Which isn't to say I plan on killing Joe off at the end. Just that I have a single major story arc that's running through all the books and that will conclude at the end of the series. Each book will also have a self-contained plot that can stand on its own. Like I say, that's the plan. The reality will have to wait.

PGA: When I first read Caught Stealing and Six Bad Things -- and now Already Dead -- I immediately connected with that adrenaline-fueled, ultra-violent, and ultra-graphic pulp fiction narrative style. Did pulp fiction have a dramatic effect on you during your formative years?

CH: Yes, but most of the pulp I was reading as a kid and a teen came in the form of fantasy, science fiction, and comic books. I read a lot of Sherlock Holmes around then, but that was about it for me and mysteries. At some point in my early 20s I read The Maltese Falcon for the first time. I went on a Hammett binge and from there to a Chandler bender. I know it's somewhat more than obvious, but those guys are still the masters. Nothing I've read in the genre since has hit me as hard as they did. And I don't think it's just "first kiss syndrome." You can pick up The Dain Curse or The Long Goodbye today, and they stand just as tall as they ever did.

PGA: Was being a writer always a dream of yours? If not, what were some of your career aspirations?

CH: Truth is, being any kind of writer was never a dream of mine. I have always written, and I was veeeeeery briefly a creative writing major; but the idea of publishing or making a living at it was never something I thought about too much. I remember looking at the submission guidelines for some SF magazines in the '80s, but that's about as close as I came. I spent most of my college years planning to be a teacher before graduating and pursuing an acting career while supporting myself as a bartender -- which tells you right there how the acting career turned out.

If you want a clear picture of how I came into the publishing business, you have to imagine a hapless drunk orphan stumbling into a bad neighborhood he's never been in before and being pulled out of the way of a speeding delivery van by a stranger who turns out to be a rich and generous long-lost uncle who takes him home and makes him his heir. Wait a minute, there might be a story in that…hmm…what if the orphan was hit and killed by the van and the uncle was a mad scientist who put him back together and resurrected him? Dickens meets Shelley! Genius! Someone get my agent on the phone!

PGA: Who are some of your favorite authors now?

CH: Right now I'm reading White Noise by Don DeLillo, who is a longtime favorite of mine. I'm also a fan of Ian McEwan and loved Saturday. Cormac McCarthy makes my eyes bleed and was actually very much on my mind when I was writing Caught Stealing. Not that you'd know that by reading any of my books. Those guys jump right to mind because I've read them all recently. Also on the list, but in no particular order: Jack Womack, Patricia Highsmith, Jonathan Lethem, Chuck Palahniuk, Alan Furst, Elmore Leonard, Richard Price, Charles Bukowski, Graham Greene, William Gibson, James Elroy (but just the L.A. Quartet books and some of his nonfiction), and, or course, Hammett, Chandler, and Hemingway. Hemingway is new for me. I somehow made it through nearly 40 years of life without reading any of his books. What's cool about that is seeing in retrospect the huge impact he had on American prose in general and hard-boiled prose specifically. That clipped, "just the bare facts" style of his became the signature voice of noir fiction. Cool.

PGA: I have to ask: when will fans of Henry "Hank" Thompson be able to get their hands on the sequel to Caught Stealing and Six Bad Things?

CH: The final book in the trilogy is written. It's called A Dangerous Man. My understanding is that it will be released in the fall of next year. In the meantime, I've got a fun side gig with Marvel Comics, writing a series based on their '70s classic "Moon Knight" that will premiere in April 2006. And I update my web journal (www.pulpnoir.com) every week, which includes some behind-the-scenes peeks at unpublished Joe Pitt material.

Customer Reviews

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Already Dead (Joe Pitt Series #1) 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 287 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although the characters and plot isn't particularly orginal or unique, it is however a very fast and easy read, a real page turner, a book for those don't nedd to get too involved with the characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm not into all the vampire stories that seem to be so popular right now, but this one looked different, kind of off-beat. Well,off-beat it was, but in a good way. At first, it was a bit hard to follow, as Mr. Huston doesn't use quotation marks to denote dialogue. He also explains things after the fact. For example, the main character, Joe, takes a phone call from Evie, but it's not explained who Evie is (Joe's girlfriend) until later. This happened several times in the book. At first, it was pretty annoying; not knowing for sure what a reference meant, or who someone was, but then, after I got used to this being the way the book was written, I got into it. I was pleasantly surprised by the story and the fact that I liked it enough to want to check out the other Joe Pitt stories in the series.
read4funGA More than 1 year ago
It's a vampire story, so dark & disturbing is welcome and expected. A fun, easy read, vampire mystery thriller. If a bisexual protagonist is unappealing then you may want to skip this one.
Unbound More than 1 year ago
This is a great mystery noir. It has vampires and zombies but for all that it's still a regular noir tale of the seedy side of Manhattan. It's not any more graphic or violent than an R-rated film. If you don't wacth R-rated movies then you probably wouldn't want to read this, but other than that no worries. The only knock I have about this book is that the author doesn't use quotation marks to denote dialog. That gets annoying really quickly, but the writing stlye makes it easy to understand who's talking. Worth the money if you like film noir.
JoanieGranola More than 1 year ago
In watching the "behind the scenes" video about how TrueBlood on HBO came about, Charlaine Harris (Sookie Stackhouse novels) stated that the vampire genre has come very far since the days of 'Dracula' and that writers could now "change the rules" of the vampire world. Charlie Huston did just that - he added his own twist on vampires and zombies. It's an interesting story, but I could tell that it was written by a man. I'm not a reader of comic books, but I've seen movies based on comic books and - in my own estimation - this book sort of reads as I believe a comic book novel would. At first I thought this book was being told after the apocalypse, but then I realized that it was just being told from the perspective of someone who's underground - or, rather, someone who's not in the middle- or upper-middle class. This tale is narrated by the main character, Joe Pitt (not his real name) and his life as a Vampyre. It takes us through a journey in New York where there are "sectors" and "clans" and Joe's just trying to get by. He's hired to do a job (that he sort of mucked up in the first place) and there are many twists and turns that make the story interesting. There were a few things I didn't enjoy in this ebook: the em-dashes indicating that someone was speaking. I found it difficult to ascertain who was speaking a few times and the lack of chapters or blank space indicating that the current scene is over. The end of the story is a little gruesome and graphic - those faint of heart should be warned. However, if you're reading vampire novels you're probably not easily squeemish. This story was well written and I will probably get the second book in the Joe Pitt series.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In this modern day tale of vampyre clans in manhattan, Joe Pitt is a sort of freelance vampyre renegade who does various jobs for the multitude of vampyire clans and organizations in Manhattan and the outlying burroughs. A new vyrus hits the streets that turns people into shamblers (think of them like zombies but more functional than the ones you see in zombie flicks) and Joe Pitt takes on the task of finding out where the vyrus originated from, and who is spreading it around. The book reads more like a screenplay than a novel and Author Charlie Huston has a very endearing and entertaining writing style and storytelling method. Don't assume that this is your typical cheesy vampire novel. Joe Pitt himself is the kind of character you'd probably hate in real life, but love in fiction. He's a witty, smart-mouthed, wise cracking bad*ss who will gladly take a thrashing just to run off at the mouth - and love it. The setting and tone of this trilogy is very Noir. I'd love to see these books become films. Overall, a very fun read and definitely a hard to put down page-turner.
crazybatcow on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It's surprisingly good. A completely non-romantic whodunnit novel with vampires. Perhaps a few too many scenes with excessive gore, but hey, it's a vampire novel.It's a fast, fun fiction and now I'm all set to read the next in the series (No Dominion).
jlparent on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Rather gritty noir tone to this one; Joe Pitt is a vampire PI (sort of, he's kinda like a get things done guy) and he has to balance between the different factions, while killing shamblers (zombies), finding a lost girl, and staying ali...undead. It's fast paced, lots of action, decent intrigue, and a entertaining escape.
miyurose on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Huston¿s novels have a rhythm and a flow that makes them nearly impossible to put down, and this was no exception. Surprisingly, there¿s not too many twists on vampire folklore here ¿ they still need a fairly regular supply of blood, and sunlight is a problem. In rogue-vampyre-cum-problem-solver Joe Pitt¿s world, Vampyrism is caused by a virus (the Vyrus). Pitt¿s struggle in this novel is as much with his Vyrus as it is with the people who are trying to control him ¿ or maybe even kill him. Pitt¿s supporting Vampyre cast is varied, from the ex-hippie Terry to the businessman Predo to guru Marshall, each approaching Vampyrism in their own unique way. As always, Huston pulls no punches. His writing is gritty and tough and sometimes gory, and you can¿t always expect a happy ending. He¿s created a complex, complicated, and dangerous Manhattan for his main character to navigate, and I¿m looking forward to seeing what he has in store next for Joe Pitt.
Joybee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
1st book of the Joe Pitt series, introduces Joe a Vampire private detective/odd jobs man. Joe is a smart mouthed, cynical 30 year old vampire trying to live in Manhattan with out belonging to one specific vampire clan. To do this he walks a dangerous line taking jobs from any clan and trying to survive. In this book he is trying to find a carrier who is infecting people with the zombie virus, and also trying to find a missing girl. In many ways Joe Pitt reminds me of a modern vampire version of Phillip Marlowe.
irunsjh on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It was just what I needed, a fun, fast paced book. Lots of great action, excellent characters. I am definitely going to go forward and read the rest of the books in this series, as well as other books by the author. On a side note, this is the first book I have read on my iPod Touch. I used the KOBO application, and was surprised at how soon I forgot I was reading on such a small screen. I will definitely look for other books that I can read this way.
kayceel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
-Joe Pitt is a vampire caught between many factions is present-day NY City. Because he doesn¿t fit in anywhere, he walks a fine line in doing work for the `bad guys¿ and the good ones. Oh, and they¿re all vampires. Things get a lot more difficult when Joe is asked to take care of a possible outbreak of zombies and a missing girl, two different cases that might just be related after all. Gritty, and I¿d call it noir if I knew a bit more about the genre¿ Joe¿s a tough guy whose world is slightly bleaker than Harry Dresden. I *like* this guy...
TheBoltChick on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is a take on vampirism from the point of view of a reluctant vampire. Written in Huston's traditional noir style, it certainly isn't a book for people who are easily offended. The story revolves around Joe Pitt, a vampire who really isn't happy about it. He has few friends and many enemies. There aren't just vampires, either.. zombies (or "victims of zombification") are also found in the book, with lots of gory details. I like Charlie Huston and read his Hank Thompson novels quickly. I think if I have a criticism of this book it would have to be I felt that Joe Pitt and Hank Thompson were essentially the same character. If I read more of Huston and find that his characters are all the same, I may not read many more... but that being said, it is a great hard-boiled, blood and guts, no holds-barred vampire novel.
TadAD on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed my first foray into Huston's books. It's a quite quick and enjoyable read. Definitely PG-13.I think we'll find that reviews of this book will tend to use the words 'noir' and 'gritty' a lot. The tone of the book is very much like a Dashiell Hammett novel; the lone-private-eye-against-the-world just happens to be chock full of the vampire virus. The setting is the dark underbelly of New York, complete with the gang warfare.While I think this book will definitely appeal to fans of other supernatural series, it has a very different feel. The Kim Harrison books or the Kelley Armstrong books almost seem a bit whitewashed in comparison—this book puts all the violence and unpleasantness right up in your face, and fairly non-stop. If you imagine a Sam Spade book updated for the times so that all the mayhem and sex wasn't off-camera, that would give you and idea.This one's worth a try.
GirlMisanthrope on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I am a vampire book afficionado. Sure, I was initially sucked in by Buffy and the LKH series, as well as Charlaine Harris. But I have long been on the look out for stand-alone vampire novels that don't romanticize vampirism as much as the aforementioned books do. "Already Dead" is told in first person noir style and well done. I loved the idea of there being multiple factions of vampires throughout New York City. For my personal taste, I found it too graphic (horror). If you typically like King and Straub you'll be fine. And, although I don't know why exactly, it bothers me when authors spell it "vampyre". The "y" feels like some unnecessary affectation.
Smiler69 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Joe Pitt is a reluctant vampire. Since he's been infected with the virus which forces him to feed on human blood and stay out of the sun, he's had to work hard at retaining his independent status in a New York filled with vampires all belonging to different clans. The Coalition is especially powerful and with unlimited blood supplies, they're able to recruit armies of vampires, but Joe refuses to join them, and they let him remain a free agent as long as he agrees to do freelance jobs for them. His latest mission is to clean up the scene of a recent gruesome zombie killing spree and find a rogue agent who's been infecting victims with the zombie bacteria. As if this mission wasn't difficult enough, he also must find a fourteen year old goth girl who's taken to camping out in the streets. She's the daughter of a powerful, shady business man, and Joe's not at all sure that returning her to her dysfunctional parents will make her any safer from what she's likely to encounter in the urban jungle of New York City. I've never been that keen on vampires and zombies, and more or less gave up on vampire novels after reading a few Anne Rice novels back in the early 90s; little did I know that pop culture was only beginning to flirt with what was to become an unquenchable thirst for tales of the undead, and that the market would be flooded, pandemic-like, with unlimited variations on the shiver-inducting sagas of the bloodlusty twilight creatures. Charlie Huston's take seems original though. There's a decidedly noirish twist on the way Joe Pitt gives his first-person account of what seems like an almost plausible interpretation of how these creatures come into being and go about their business. The copious and astoundingly sickening violence is not for the faint of heart, and while I have a high tolerance for such things in the right kind of context, there were several times when I felt my already generous boundaries being stretched to the outer limits. But Joe Pitt, at the end of the day, is believable to me. I've met his kind in my former life as and out-and-about creature of the night. He's bad, there's no doubt about it, but he's a good kind of bad, and I have sympathy for his cause. I'll be back for more.
JOSE. on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An entertaining classic noir novel with a non-intrusive and quirky vampire spin on it. Those that might be put off reading it because of the vampire theme should not be deterred: this is not Twilight or Pure Blood. Still I would not rate it 5 stars as it I think it still lacks some maturity and by the end of it you are left thinking whether there is any kind of point to it. Quality pop corn pulp.
deandroid on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
a rogue (not fitting in with any vampire clan) vampire trying to live" a "human" life while doing work for the different clans that control his corner of manhatten.
ty1997 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The literary and movie worlds of late are overwrought with vampires, a genre I've never been keen on, but Amazon was offering Already Dead for free on the Kindle, and the reviews were decent, so I took a chance.Joe Pitt is a Vampyre (Huston's spelling) in an alternate reality Manhattan where vampires live quietly, and mostly secretly, among us. In Huston's world, they aren't evil, murderous demons (for the most part) but rather people that have been infected with a virus. One of the interesting facets of the books is that Pitt, and the rest of the vampyres, don't know much about the virus or how it works. It's a disease that hasn't been researched, so both the reader and the vampyres are not fully aware of the possible effects.Joe is a bit of an independent contractor, in a Manhattan where all of the Vampyres have joined clans. Joe is given two jobs: find a runaway 14 year old girl, and find a carrier that is infecting people with a bacteria that turns them into zombies. (And who doesn't love zombies, really?). The two cases are, of course, related.The book gritty and graphic, which is a little off-putting. The writing is informal, with numerous run-on sentences, but this fits Joe's world and Joe's personality.It appears that Already Dead is the beginning of a series. I'm not sure I'll read any more in the series, but Huston does a solid job of setting up a world, characters, and ethos, and I am at least passingly curious concerning what becomes of them.
amf0001 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Surprisingly good. Gritty, dark, dry, funny. Joe Pitt is a vampyre, has the Virys. New approach to vampires and their internal politics. He has to chase down some shamblers (zombies) and gets caught up in other people's webs. Well written, except he didn't use "" for some reason and occassionally it was hard to tell who was talking or if they were just thinking to themselves, but still enjoyable.
FicusFan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Wonderful book with an interesting style. Very immediate and in the spoken style, not the usually written style. Makes good use of the noir/pulp style.Gritty setting and characters, fast paced, gripping story telling. Uses the vampire as virus theme, but works it as an active disease.Good supporting characters and an interesting story. Can't wait for the next one.
bhalpin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My favorite mystery in years. My favorite vampire book in years.
malcontentdiary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Quite excellent urban vampire novel; captures the feel of New York City and a very captivating lead character.
bryanspellman on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Nice intro to Joe Pitt. An interesting world I am looking forward to visiting again.
mynebulae on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book for its take on the ever popular "vampire, P.I." character. It was fresh, funny in moments, but certainly not comic. There are some quite dark moments, but they were tastefully done and provoked thought. The main character, while a bit of an anti-hero, is still someone readers can sympathize with.