Books: My Dead Body

I’ve really enjoyed the Joe Pitt cycle of books by Charlie Huston (see these four previous reviews), so I was really looking forward to the final book, My Dead Body (even if the title doesn’t suggest a happy outcome). I was not disappointed. It was fantastic and a perfect ending for the series.

This book is the culmination of the story of Joe Pitt, the rogue vampire in Manhattan who manages to find himself in the middle of all the troubles in his world: the different vampire clans, zombies, a potential cure, the source of blood for the Coalition, the vampires off the island and in Harlem, among many others. I should warn you: there is no way you should try to read this book if you haven’t read the previous four novels (I read a review in SFX magazine that complained about reading My Dead Body without having read the previous books; talk about completely missing the point); you wouldn’t watch the last season of Lost, for example, without having enjoyed the previous seasons.

In this story, Pitt finds himself to returning to world he left after the end of the fourth book (after his actions at the end forced him underground). The case he takes on leads him to interact with all the characters he has encountered over the course of the series: Terry, Hurley, Lydia and the Society; Predo of the Coalition; Digga of the Hood; The Count and the Enclave; Amanda Horde and her ‘cure’; and of course, Evie, his girlfriend. And things get messy …

Huston has created a visceral and believably grimy world for characters to inhabit – Manhattan is an important element to the books – and his prose style is a joy to read. The hard-boiled dialogue and narration, the characters, the violence, the feel of Manhattan, and the romantic element that flowed through the books (yes, really) all come together to make something new and thoroughly gripping and entertaining. I have loved the series and I loved the final book, which was as good as I hoped. If you like noir with a supernatural twist, I recommend you go out and buy all five books, because you won’t be disappointed.

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