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Half the Blood of Brooklyn    by Charlie Huston order for
Half the Blood of Brooklyn
by Charlie Huston
Order:  USA  Can
Del Rey, 2008 (2008)
Softcover, e-Book

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*   Reviewed by Belle Dessler

Private investigator, former rogue hit-man and Manhattan-based vampyre Joe Pitt has problems. Big problems. Not only is his girlfriend quickly dying of AIDS, but the previously independent Pitt now has to work with the renegade Society Clan as their security chief. Sure it's much easier to keep fed and live in the lifestyle to which he's become accustomed when the Society is footing the bill, but the price they ask from Pitt is high. And it might cost him his life.

He's been ordered to cross the bridge into Coney Island and find out why another Vampyre clan is threatening the already dwindling blood supply in the boroughs. There he encounters radical vyrus-infected folk just like him, who'd do anything to survive. Even if it means killing and chopping up others into little pieces. In the meantime, Pitt's girlfriend is still dying, and although he can save her, that's another price he's not sure he wants to pay. He loves her, which makes it even tougher to turn her into a vampyre to save her life. Not that she'd understand, which is why Pitt doesn't tell her what he really is. And if all that isn't bad enough, things get even more complicated when what starts out as a scuffle over turf becomes an all out war, and Pitt's past catches up to him.

As the third book in Huston's Joe Pitt series, Half the Blood of Brooklyn is best enjoyed by readers familiar with the previous novels. A large part of the plot hinges on the reader's understanding of what came before the gang wars become a paramount part of the story, and those not up to speed with Pitt and his previous adventures will likely be confused.

Huston is an expert at writing fiction that reads like a stream-of-consciousness depiction of Pitt's day-to-day activities. The lack of conventional dialogue tags could throw many readers off, however, as could Pitt's random acts of unlikable, anti-hero behavior. However, readers who enjoy authors such as Elmore Leonard and Charles Williams will be delighted with Houston's characters and storytelling techniques.

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