Imagining a Better Future by Re-imagining the Past

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Dieselpunk Book Review: Bloodlist by P.N. Elrod

In my last blog post I wrote about the Vampire Files Vol. 1 by P.N. Elrod. In this post I review the first book in the collection: Bloodlist.

Set in the Windy City during the Great Depression, Bloodlist follows ex-newspaper reporter now private detective and newly turned vampire Jack Fleming. The novel begins shortly after his death and resurrection. We then follow Jack as he tries to adjust to being one of the undead while at the same time solving his own murder without dying permanently in the process.

Without a doubt, Elrod has the pulp noir genre down perfectly. Written in the first-person it has the feel of a Dashiell Hammett novel. The banter is perfect and the characters are well-written. Bloodlist has all of the usual suspects. Along with the detective it has the loyal sidekick, the vicious gangsters, and the gorgeous dame.

Of course, the heart of the story is the protagonist Jack Fleming, a hard-boiled detective who honed his skills as a reporter on the streets of New York before moving to Chicago. Even though he’s now a vampire he hasn’t lost his humanity, which leads to internal conflicts and doubts. Is he still a man or is he now a monster?

Elrod take on the vampire myths is quite interesting. Her vampire is an interesting mix of elements retained from the classic while subtracting some and adding new. This mixture results in a creature with some intriguing powers yet also some serious weakness.

P.N. Elrod, author
While I admit that I’m a fast reader I will say that I finished Bloodlist in record time. Looking back, I would say that the main reason I got through it so quickly was largely because it was so well written. The story was fast paced and fun. Plus, Elrod’s writing flows naturally and smoothly.

Bloodlist is a great Dieselpunk novel. Even if one isn’t a fan of vampire novels anyone who enjoys a good pulp noir will enjoy Bloodlist. I look forward to reading more of the Vampire Files series by P.N. Elrod.

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