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Vampire Siege at Rio Muerto [Kindle Edition]

John M. Whalen
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

“Hunting monsters is my business.” A wealthy New Mexican ranchero hires Monster Hunter Mordecai Slate to track down the vampire who ravished his daughter. Don Pedro Sanchez wants Slate to bring him back alive, so he can have the pleasure of driving in the stake himself. Slate travels from Socorro to Las Cruces where he finds his prey, Kord Manion, and comes up with an unusual way to transport him back north. Kord’s brother, Dax, and his gang of vampire outlaws follow in pursuit, half a day behind. During the chase, Slate stops to rescue a girl in trouble and tries to get her out of harm’s way. His journey leads him to a desert ghost town called Rio Muerto, where he will face his greatest challenge in the ultimate battle between good and evil.

Product Description

About the Author

John M. Whalen has been a reporter, an editor, and an astrologer. He's the author of dozens of short stories that have appeared in a variety of publications and anthologies. Whalen's first novel, "Jack Brand," was published by Pill Hill Press in 2010. "Vampire Siege at Rio Muerto" is the first novel featuring Monster Hunter Mordecai Slate. Slate has appeared in seven stories that were published in various anthologies and magazines. For more information on Slate and the latest news on Whalen's writings, check out his blog at You can find him on Facebook at Flying W Press.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3332 KB
  • Print Length: 235 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1495379922
  • Publisher: Flying W Press; 1 edition (9 Oct. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #758,970 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling... 7 Nov. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
As weird westerns go, this one is an instant classic. Lots of gunplay, blood-thirsty night-stalkers, and more twists and turns than a Sergio Leone film. If you're a fan of spaghetti westerns or Hammer horror films, this book is for you.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.1 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cowboys and Vampires 31 Oct. 2013
By Keanan Brand - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
The newest story by John Whalen is a dandy yarn, a Western-horror mashup that could shoulder up to Stephen King and Louis L'Amour with equal comfort, and yet maintain stature as a creature all its own.

Don Pedro slays a vampire -- his beloved daughter Theresa -- then hires hunter Mordecai Slate to find Kord Manion, the undead seducer who turned her.

The twist? If he wants to be paid, Slate can't kill Manion. He must bring him back so Don Pedro can execute Manion.

Not recommended, and Slate says so, but the rancher insists, and so begins the hunter's journey that eventually leads him to Rio Verde, a town that is anything but verdant ever since the drought came and sent most of the citizens in search of greener pastures. A passing cowboy with a dark sense of humor nicknamed the town Rio Muerto, and the appellation stuck.

When evil is unleashed, innocents die, a despairing alcoholic reverend regains his faith, a dishonored doctor displays how honorable and skilled he really is, a long-separated young couple find one another, and people take stands they never expected. Whalen doesn't drop the reins of either genre: There are gunfights and fangs, wagons and coffins, townfolk and bloody necks, and one fast-paced tale that doesn't turn in directions the reader might expect.

There's more to the story, a few small yet powerful twists at the end that deliver enough surprise to keep the action interesting all the way to the last line.

Recommended for Western fans and horror fans alike.
4.0 out of 5 stars The Wild West meets Vampires! 1 Jun. 2014
By D.W. Jones - Published on
I have read my share of vampire books in my time but this is the first one that has taken place in the wild west. The title and the cover was cool and gave you the feel of a Quentin Tarrantino movie. Whalen did a great job in getting you to pick up the book and he does equally well in telling the story.
The story begins as Mordecai Slate, a bounty hunter of the supernatural and known for his ruthlessness and to do any job for the right price. He is hired by Don Pedro, one of the biggest cattle ranchers to hunt down Kord Manion for killing his daughter. His only request is that Slate bring Kord Manion to him alive so that he may kill him. This is not what Slate usually does but agrees.
So Slate hunts Kord Manion down and captures him to bring him back to Don Pedro but this is where things do wrong. On his way back, he rescues a young lady but get injured and needs to get help. They stop by the nearest town with a doctor for medical help and then be on their way. But the doctor tricks him and knocks him out.
Slate knows time is running out because Kord’s brother Dax will be looking for revenge and will devasted this town just to get to him. Will he be able to escape in time or will doing it for the money finally catch up to him?
Whalen tells a story full of action and suspense throughout the book. He also does a great job of setting the mood and time period in which the story stakes place. His main character, Slate is multi dimensional and not just the money hungry bounty hunter. He is perceived as one thing but really have doubts about getting innocents involved. The story has a nice turn at the end that makes it a satisfying read.
I recommend this book for anyone who likes a good vampire story in a setting besides gloomy mansions or high schools. Also if you want to read about the more typical vampire with bloodlust, this is for you.
5.0 out of 5 stars That Kind of Story 31 Mar. 2014
By PETER MORLEY - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
What kind of story is "Vampire Siege at Rio Muerto"? Well to begin with - John M. Whalen has delivered a rip-roaring tale to be sure and - as usual - something more. Whalen's past readers are well acquainted with his ability to literally hold them hostage until the tale is told in full. In "Vampire Siege at Rio Muerto" the author achieves yet a new pinnacle of genre-bending suspense.

Whalen's influences are many and uniformly high-end. The subtle homages to classic western films range from "Ride Lonesome" to "Death Rides a Horse" (the cover illustration portrays the novel's hero/anti-hero, Mordecai Slate as something of a cross between rugged actors Richard Boone and Lee Van Cleef). And of course there are allusions to the classic 60's TV series that was so much a genesis to Whalen's becoming a writer, "Route 66" (including the episodes "Shall Forfeit His Dog and Ten Shillings to the King" and "Ten Drops of Water").

The concept of melding the horror/monster story with heroic western fiction may put off the potential reader. Don't let it. Although there isn't an archetype in either genre that Whalen doesn't touch on, he's an expert at doing so - with surprising believability! His earlier space-western novel "Jack Brand" achieved much the same thing. And his cagey knack for fleshing out characters that may at first seem cliche is especially notable.

The rare moments of inaction in "Vampire Siege" provide not only a bit of relief for the reader (the novel is quite intense in terms of violence and gore) but are ripe for Whalen to have his characters expound on their backstories - much richer than you might expect, given that we ARE dealing in pulp fiction here. Whalen's Doc Washburn, we come to learn, had experience with vampires before, during his tenure at Cleveland Hospital (another Route 66 "Easter egg" - the character of Buz Murdock is exiled to the mythical Cleveland Hospital during an illness/contract dispute George Maharis, the actor who portrayed him, was having with the show's producers).

These less-kinetic moments also serve to bring in existential observations the author wishes to make through the characters (Marie and Taos ruminate about taking on "the big lonely" for example). And there's a whole riff on what psychologists call "projection" you don't want to miss. The screenwriter Stirling Silliphant would often do likewise with his characters on Route 66.

And once again, John Whalen seasons his narrative with vivid description - whether geographic, meteorologic, anthropologic (several obscure Native American tribes referred to) or linguistic (plenty of accessible Spanish throughout). Rich detail about weaponry, hardware, livery and wardrobe - keeps the fantastic goings-on from going "off the rails".

Despite a bit of expository repetition from chapter to chapter (to facilitate serialization?) - overall the novel rolls out like a particularly gripping film. Think of one of those aforementioned beloved westerns you might swerve into on Turner Classic Movies some rainy weekend afternoon. Watch for five minutes and you're hooked - you're in it until the final frame. Read a chapter or two of "Vampire Siege at Rio Muerto" and you will likewise cast your lot with Mordecai, Marie, Taos and yes even our villains Kord and Dax Manion. answer to the question posed at the's THAT kind of story.
4.0 out of 5 stars Review by my teenage daughter 12 April 2014
By AeroEngineer - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Vampire Siege at Rio Muerto is a gripping, fast-paced, suspenseful tale with well-developed characters and an interesting plot. The story, a mash-up of the Old West and horror genres, contains several fascinating twist and turns, and the ending took me quite by surprise while remaining organic to the plot.

Whalen makes good use of foreshadowing as he tells the story, letting us know at the beginning that Don Pedro can't be trusted, but without revealing the full truth of his character until the final chapter. He also hints at the final fate of several other characters in a way that keeps the reader in suspense until the last possible moment.

The characters themselves are well-crafted, with just the right amount of information revealed about each person at just the right time. Mordecai Slate is particularly well-written, being relatable yet distant. He is someone the reader can trust, while still keeping a few secrets.

The story does contain frequent use of alcohol and tobacco, some language, blood and gore, and occasional references to sexual immorality, but those things are not graphic, nor do they take center stage. Rather, they contribute to the lawless setting, the dark character of the antagonists, or the suspenseful plot.

I would definitely read this book again, as it was the first book in several months to really hold my interest. However, I would recommend it only to mature and discerning readers, those who can focus on the strong good-versus-evil plot and engaging characters rather than merely dwelling on the elements I listed in the previous paragraph.
5.0 out of 5 stars Top-Notch Weird Western 18 Jan. 2014
By James Reasoner - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
There's been a surge in popularity for horror Westerns in recent years, and author John M. Whalen has come up with a good one in VAMPIRE SIEGE AT RIO MUERTO. The protagonist is bounty hunter Mordecai Slate, who makes his living tracking down outlaws who happen to be vampires, werewolves, and other supernatural creatures.

Slate is hired by a wealthy rancher in New Mexico Territory to capture the vampire responsible for the death of the rancher's daughter. Slate manages to do that, but as he tries to return the prisoner to his employer, the vampire's brother and the rest of their gang are on Slate's trail. Then he runs into an unwanted complication in the form of a beautiful blonde with troubles of her own, and they all wind up stuck in the little settlement of Rio Verde, which has been renamed Rio Muerto because it's turning into a ghost town. By this time there's a small army of vampires after Slate, which leads up to an epic showdown.

Whalen has created a fine protagonist in Mordecai Slate, and his other characters are interesting, too. There's plenty of well-written action and considerable suspense. Whalen does a good job blending the Western and horror elements. One thing I found surprisingly effective is that there's not a lot of elaborate world-building to explain why vampires and other supernatural beings are roaming the Old West. They simply are, and people accept that, and that matter-of-fact attitude lends a hardboiled edge to the tale.

VAMPIRE SIEGE AT RIO MUERTO is a really entertaining novel. Horror fans should enjoy it, and if you're a Western reader who doesn't mind supernatural elements, you should definitely check it out as well.
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