Charlie Huston has a voice all his own. He’s clearly a noir writer, and clearly has an ear for dialogue. I’m a fan of Ed Gorman for the same reasons, but Charlie Huston makes Ed Gorman look like Dr. Seuss, because Charlie Huston writes about some bad-ass sons-of-bitches. Joe Pitt, a Vampyre in New York City, is one of those SOBs.
Huston introduced us to Joe Pitt in Already Dead, and he sort of introduced us to him in the Hank Thompson trilogy, since the main characters in both series are very much alike: tough, street-wise, and loyal to his loved ones. Being a tough, street-wise Vampyre, it’s hard to imagine him having loved ones, but his girlfriend has no idea that Pitt is a Vampyre, and never questions why he doesn’t go out during the day, and why he has a refrigerator with a padlock on it (though she often wonders). That she’s HIV-positive means that they never have sex, and besides, if it ever came to where Pitt has to make a choice, the Vampyre virus will take care of her illness, anyway.
Structurally, and plot-wise, No Dominion is similar to the second book in the Hank Thompson trilogy, Caught Stealing. The similarities may have more to do with the structure of trilogies than anything that Huston may have borrowed from one series to another, but to be honest, I don’t really care. I love reading Huston’s stories, because they’re gritty, realistic, and still manage to keep me engaged. Similar or not, the book is still a great read.
Be forewarned, though: The books are brutal and violent, and explicit in every detail. If that sort of thing makes you queasy, then you should probably avoid Huston’s books. If Pulp Fiction, though, seemed a little tame to you, then Hank Thompson and Joe Pitt could probably be good friends of yours. Find them, read them, and appreciate them.