Author: James R. Tuck
Publication: Kensington (February 7, 2012)
Description: Since hunting down the monster who took the lives of his wife and children five years ago, occult bounty-hunter Deacon Chalk has lived by only one rule.
He does not work for the monsters. He kills them.
So why would a vampire try to hire him as protection against another monster hunter? After enforcing his only rule Deacon goes to meet the target, a vampire slayer named Nyteblade. Professional courtesy demands he tell this Nyteblade the vampires are hiring people to kill him. Deacon finds the vampire slayer waiting in an alley.
Waiting to stake him.
He discovers that Nyteblade is a bumbling, fumbling, wanna-be instead of a badass vampire hunter. Someone who needs saving from monsters instead of the other way around. This is proven when a horde of vampires descend and he has to escape while trying to keep Nyteblade alive.
Someone has set Deacon up. Someone wants him dead.
Someone should have sent more vampires.
Bound and determined, Deacon will find out who tried to kill him no matter how many bloodsuckers, were-spiders, cursed immortals, undead strippers, or insanely powerful hell-bitches he has to wade through.
It's going to be a long night.
My Thoughts: This was urban fantasy at its gritty and violent best. Deacon Chalk spends a lot more time talking about weapons and killing the monsters than doing anything else. It all starts when he is lured to an ambush. He does manage to escape along with the human who tried to stake him thinking he was a vampire. This starts Deacon on a quest to find out which vampire targeted him. It would take a very powerful one to control the number of lesser vampires sent after him.
Deacon works out of Polecats - a strip club - which he happens to own. It provides some of the financing for his battle. He is also supported in his hunt for monsters by his bartender Father Mulcahy, a priest from one of the militant orders, and various other employees of Polecats. He also brings in the guy who tried to stake him. Once self-titled Nyteblade, Larson becomes more than a reluctant source of information when his mother and sister are captured by the monsters. Larson is a total opposite to Deacon. He is small, slight, completely untrained. However, he does have knowledge about hunting vampires that does come in handy.
Deacon was an interesting character but a little one-dimensional. If we were told once, we were told ten times that he was willing to die and, in fact, looked forward to it so that he could be with his dead wife and children. His whole life is killing the monsters until one of them finally kills him. This episode comes pretty close with its climactic battle of good versus evil.
One thing I did like at the beginning was the homage to some other urban fantasy titles:
There are few proclaimed vampire slayers and they range all kinds. Anita out in St. Louis, but she has a lot of stuff going on, not just vampire executions. Cat and Bones run their crew killing vampires and do a fine job of it. I hear whispers about the blue woman now and again, but it's hard to pull the fact from the fiction on that one.I don't recognize the Blue Woman. If anyone has read that one, I'd like author and title please.
If you are looking for gritty urban fantasy with a male main character and are more interested in fighting than emotional depth, this one will satisfy. I think I'll be following along on his future adventures to see if he grows and changes. Maybe the next one will have more character development.
The majority of my time my strategy is to just go in shooting, but occasionally I needed a more developed plan than "kill every monster I see."I received this one from the author in exchange for an honest review. You can buy your copy here.