Cold Streets Mass Market Paperback – 1 Dec 2003
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
This book is a perfect blend of detective, vampire, and noir. With only two of those, it would still be a great read. Elrod offers well-developed plots, humor, fresh descriptions, and comparisons that transport you into Jack Fleming's world of vampire survival. He's tough and smart but gets into trouble because he tries to give humans a break. You'll love the dry wit of his dignified, British, business partner, Escott and Jack's main squeeze, Bobbi an independent, talented woman who cares for Jack but also wants a career.
The mob-ridden Chicago of the 1930's is the perfect setting to tie all this together, and Elrod did her homework. The language, clothing styles, locations, and weapons are accurate and appropriate.
Others have already given wonderful details about the plot of this book, so I'll just add: Buy it. You won't be disappointed. The entire series is fantastic and could be adapted for movies or weekly TV shows!
I didn't want it to end, but I couldn't stop reading!
But meanwhile, within each novel, Jack Fleming struggles to become a "better" vampire -- when he's not even sure what it means to be a vampire. He has problems that resolve at the end of the novel into even worse problems yet to come.
Charles Escott, Jack's human partner, struggles to keep his private investigating business going despite Chicago's gangsters and the depression.
Together, they are telling us a tale of two people assimilating trauma and overcoming it. All right, those of you who've read my vampire novels like Those of My Blood know that's what I write, so it's no surprise it's what I prefer to read.
Charles Escott has had his psyche reamed and re-arranged by events -- from the first book where a vampire walks into his office in dire need of blood, to his Dark Sleep where he must confront his past. And Jack wakes up murdered and now a vampire, and must confront the implications of his hypnotic powers and his bloodlust. Every time he thinks he has it all together and stabilized, another case comes along and he learns he really has no clue what being a vampire is all about.
In COLD STREETS - we go with Jack to a whole new level of bloodlust -- learning, feeling, and knowing what it means when a vampire has all his blood drained out of him. Is there anything he won't do to replenish himself? And how can he live with it afterwards? Will his human friends stand by him? Do they know how to administer psychiatric therapy to a nearly catatonic vampire?
It seems to me this series is very much like the TV Series Magnum P.I. -- with Jack Flemming as Magnum and Charles Escott as Higgins. Instead of being set in Hawaii, it's in 1930's Chicago, and instead of being a caretaker of a large house, Charles is the owner of the house and the private eye. But their relationship is very similar.
In COLD STREETS we've come to 1938. I keep wondering what's going to happen when the war comes to America. Will Jack enlist? Will they draft him? Will he dodge the draft and go overseas by himself on his own mission? After all, Charles' family and friends in England are going to need help.
I do hope P. N. Elrod keeps writing these novels. I'm dying to see what she plans to have happen next. I guarantee it won't be what I would write -- but I won't be able to put it down once I get my hands on the next book.
Live Long and Prosper,
In this episode Jack starts out by breaking up a kidnapping for his friend Escott. One of the kidnappers turns out to be both psychotic and resistance to Jack's trips. The worst happens, Jack is spotted sipping his favorite cow, and now faces blackmail and exposure at the hands of a ne'er-do-well society member will the morals of a snail.
The counterplot involves Jack's old friend Gordy - crime boss and fellow nightclub owner. A New York gangster shows up wanting to take over the territory. Yes another psychotic, with a tendency to get drunk and nasty. The ensuing crisis catapults Jack into temporary leadership of the local crime ring with results that would be comic if they weren't so horrific.
Elrod isn't one to deviate from a hitherto successful formula, so Jack does what he does best - make a mess of things. One would think that, after eight novels in which he is perpetually being shot up, knocked unconscious by wooden chairs, and otherwise embarrassed in the pursuit of goodness , that Jack would have figured out that vampires should also stay away from places where angels fear to tread. But such is not to be the case.
Hapless vampires to not necessarily make great protagonists. What is cute, or funny loses interest when the same thing happens time after time. If I was a vampire with Jack's luck, I would willingly ride off into the sunrise - and kiss my horse every night. What saves the book is what always does - Elrod's writing ability, which makes a mundane plot sparkle enough to keep up one's interest. But even that time is coming to an end. This will probably be the last in this series for me - while it remains an enjoyable confection.
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