“–Well, just threaten a man, why can’t you? You make it all complicated like that and I sometimes don’t know what I got to do to keep from getting slapped around… I appreciate the benefit of the doubt and all, Joe, but really, man, unless I’m high you really shouldn’t count on me thinking too straight.”
It’s always nice to be clear when you are trying to get information.
The third in the Joe Pitt series was a little harder to get into, but that could have been my lingering dyspepsia after a political-talk filled lunch with pops… maybe call it a three-and-a-half star read, to be re-read in a better mood. Frankly, I thought my aggravation would have been well suited to Joe Pitt. This book is a lot more violent, with quite a few more entrenched New York stereotypes, a greater freak factor, and a more unlikeable lead. Manhattan Vampyres are starting to cast their gazes outside the island, investigating the prospect of alliances. Terry, who Joe temporarily owes, wants to send Joe to Brooklyn for a meet. Joe is tormented over Evie, his human love interest, and doesn’t know which way to turn. He starts grasping at straws, and it’s never pleasant when people become desperate, hoping for the miracle.
I won’t summarize, but I want to remember that I found the circus Freaks disgusting, and the Jewish Vampyre clan severely retrograde. Frankly, it puzzles me. Were the scenes in the other books equally farcical and I missed the point? I remember the aura of danger in Joe’s prior confrontations, but this cross between Jewish Vampyres and redneck marriage clans just seemed… silly. Joe’s escape strategy smacks of one used in a prior book.
Still, it’s a good read. The stark dialogue captures my attention and is one of the strengths of Huston’s style. The description of Joe stopping in for late-night snacks at a bodega was hauntingly real, and then ruthless. Then there are the scenes at the Vampyre Enclave with Daniel. Huston surprised me there, but perhaps I should have expected his bleak vision to win out. Like an abused dog, Joe is repeatedly biting the hands that are reached out to him, and it gets a little hard to witness him hurting. I also tend to get annoyed when plot points hinge on someone not sharing information. In this case, there’s no obvious reason for Joe not to share with the Society, except sheer obstinacy. This feels a little like a mid-series book with a number of plot lines left incomplete, so I’m anxious to get the last two and see where this story goes.