Review: Sleepless by Charlie Huston (Audio)

Sleepless by Charlie Huston
Sleepless by Charlie Huston

Sleepless
Charlie Huston
Blackstone Audio, 2010

Since having discovered Charlie Huston some time ago he has quickly rocketed up into my circle of favorite authors. Blackstone Audio’s production of Huston’s Joe Pitt series read with style and panache by Scott Brick are some of the best audiobooks I’ve ever listened to and The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death was a unique, gritty, sometimes hilarious, and constantly entertaining crime novel. While I certainly did not have as much fun with Sleepless as I did with Huston’s other work it is definitely his most thought provoking work.

An insomnia inducing disease is sweeping across the nation; SLP a disease that erodes the mind driving victims insane and eventually to death. Society has not coped well with the disease and the Los Angeles that is the main setting for the novel is one quickly crumbling into chaos and disarray. Officer Parker Haas is working undercover in the drug trade, rampant now that the titular sleepless seek an escape from their suffering, trying to track down illegal trafficking of the consumer drug DR33M3R; the only known effect method for sleepless to actually sleep. Thrown into the mix is the aging mercenary/assassin Jasper who is hired to retrieve an item in Haas’ possession by any means necessary.

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The Joe Pitt Casebooks (final 3)

I’ve already spoken about Charlie Huston’s Joe Pitt Case Books but I finally got my hands on the final three audiobook editions of the series: Half the Blood of Brooklyn, Every Last Drop, and My Dead Body. Like Already Dead and No Dominion before them these volumes are narrated by Scott Brick.  As I tweeted a week or so ago: “Charlie Huston is awesome and Joe Pitt is the best vampire ever. If you haven’t read any of the Joe Pitt novels do so now.”  That sentiment still stands.  In an publishing phase when the vampire has been nigh on “defanged” by a certain teen-centric series there has been a corresponding resurgence of harder edged and frequently atypical vampire stories as well.  Let Me In by John Adjive Lindquist (both the book and film), Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s Strain series (The Strain and The Fall should be available now), and Chang-wook Park’s film Thirst stand alongside Huston’s Joe Pitt novels as shining gems amidst the dross of YA-centric vampire fiction that has seemingly been flooding the market.  All of the aforementioned titles are worth a look, particularly if your a fan of vampire fiction, but it is the Joe Pitt Casebooks that in my eyes stand at the top of a, comparatively small, heap.

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Charlie Huston’s Joe Pitt on Audio

Already Dead by Charlie Huston
Already Dead by Charlie Huston

A couple of months ago I popped in the audiobook version of Charlie Huston’s Already Dead and was immediately impressed by its inventive vampire turf war set amongst the 5 boroughs of Manhattan as well as the noir styling and hard-boiled attitude to Joe Pitt himself.   Pitt isn’t really a private detective, he’s more Hawk then Spencer, an enforcer, a hired gun, and occasionally a detective.

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Review: The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death by Charlie Huston

The Mystic Signs of Erasing All Signs of Death by Charlie Huston
The Mystic Signs of Erasing All Signs of Death by Charlie Huston

The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death
Charlie Huston
Ballantine, 2009

Web Goodhue, an unemployed former school teacher, spends most his days harassing his best friend.  Web is a bit of a jerk, a fact tolerated by his few friends because of the traumatic events that led to his unemployment and the fact that he is suffering from post-traumatic stress.  However, when an acquaintance named Po Sin offers Web the opportunity to work at his “Clean Team” post death/trauma cleaning company, Web accepts.  From Web is drawn into the strange underworld of crime scene cleaning as well the problems and shady dealings of one of Po Sin’s clients.
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