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Lifeblood: Book Two of the Vampire Files
P.N. Elrod
Narrated by Barett Whitener
Blackstone Audio, 6.8 hours

Lifeblood
P.N. Elrod
P.N. Elrod lives in Texas with her two dogs, a house full of books, tapes, and a full-sized TARDIS.

ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: Cold Streets
SF Site Review: Lady Crymsyn

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Gil T. Wilson

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  Once again, P.N. Elrod has created a delightful read in the second installment of The Vampire Files, with Lifeblood.  What makes these books fun is that they are not just another book about vampires, but they are the film noir of vampire novels.  Did you ever read any of the old detective magazines with stories about a private investigator of sorts cracking the case while at the same time narrating every little detail?  Well that's what you can expect from The Vampire Files

  Barrett Whitener reads them in the fashion that brings up pictures of Humphrey Bogart or William Powell as the detective.  His delivery is perfect for the first person telling of these stories,    especially when he has to deliver such lines as, "That thought chafed at me like starched underwear" or, "The knife was so sharp it hurt to look at it."  These are classic examples from the style these books are written in and Barrett Whitener knows how to deliver them.

  Jack Fleming was an investigative journalist in Prohibition-era New York, but when he died he became a vampire and moved to Chicago.  In P.N. Elrod's vampire mythology, vampires exchange blood with a human and after the human dies they may or may not become a vampire.  The logic behind this is that if in every case of blood "sharing" the human became a vampire, the world would be overrun by vampires.

In Jack's case, he was sent by the paper to cover the world premiere of the movie Dracula, starring Bela Lugosi.  There Jack meets Maureen, they fall in love, and she tells Jack she's an honest-to-goodness vampire.  The inevitable blood exchange happens, with neither of them knowing if it'll take.  Maureen then leaves, saying someone is after her and Jack never hears from her again.  In the meantime (book one of the series) Jack is killed and comes back as a vampire.  He also becomes associated with a private investigator in Chicago named Charles Escott.

  In this book, it has been five years since Maureen disappeared. Up until now, Jack has been running ads in the personal columns in several newspapers nationwide asking if she is safe. For the previous five years, Jack has been faithful in trying to find Maureen, but he has now fallen in love with a nightclub singer he rescued in book one of the series.  So, he stops running the ads.  His current love is about to hit it big with a radio broadcast performance and Jack is ready to move on.

  The problem with stopping the ads is that it brings Jack to the attention of people who have also been looking for Maureen.  One of these is a nearly comical team of vampire hunters named Braxton and Webster. Braxton has been hunting Maureen and when Jack stops the ads, he knows Jack has been changed.  The other person searching for Maureen is her younger sister, who is now 82 years old. The sister is looking for Maureen because she is dying and wants Maureen to turn her into a vampire.

  What soon becomes a hunt for the truth makes it necessary for Jack and Escott to solve the mystery involving Maureen's sister and, at the same time, keep the vampire hunters at bay.  With some great mysteries to be solved and even a few laughs thrown in, Lifeblood is worth the listen whether you are a detective or vampire fan.

Copyright © 2010 Gil T. Wilson

Gil T. has spent a quarter of a century working in radio and has lots of spare time on his hands and reading or listening to books takes up all that time. Check out his blog to find out what he's up to at any given moment.


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