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Every Last Drop: A Novel by Charlie Huston
Cover Artist: Photo: cemetery by Maciej Toporowicz/man at bar by Howard Pyle
Review by Gayle Surrette
Del Rey Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780345495884
Date: 30 September 2008 List Price $14.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: Gumshoe Interview with Charlie Huston / Show Official Info /

Joe Pitt is back in the Bronx. He's ruthlessly cleared himself a bit of territory and he's making due; but there's the pull to Manhattan -- in sight across the river, but forbidden. Then a miscalculation lands Pitt in the hands of a sadist and then into the clutches of someone with a need for vengeance. Pitt is sent back to where he wants to be, but at a price. He's, as usual, stuck right in the middle of building tensions between the various vampire Clans, hunted by them all, everyone of them with an agenda and a use for him. There is one request he can't turn down -- and that leads him in some directions he'd rather not have to face.

More Charlie Huston:
Already Dead SFRevu US
Already Dead SFRevu UK
No Dominion
Half the Blood of Brooklyn
Every Last Drop

Interview: Charlie Huston

Pitt is not a hero. He doesn't he want to be one. He wants enough blood to live on, his girlfriend by his side, perhaps a friend or two, and to be left alone. He's a guy that's always watching out for number one. But in spite of himself, or maybe it's just because of his contrary nature -- he's often the odd-man out, and thus tends to end up in the wrong place at the right time to actually do the right thing. At least it often seems like the right or only thing to do at the time -- from a certain point of view -- the view where Pitt lives and gets to go on with his life. The fact that no one else is happy with him and he's getting a bit worn about the edges and seedier as these book continue might be trying to tell him to give it up and watch a sunrise but Joe has people to watch out for and he never listens to advice, even when it's in his best interest.

As usual, there's the up front in your face story and then there's all the machinations, double crosses, and hidden alliances behind the scenes. We can intuit some of them, but others lay hidden but felt behind the narrative and driving it along, whether we can identify these forces or not. Joe, often doesn't know what's going on and we mostly follow his journey making us no wiser than our protagonist.

Nevertheless, from the get-go you're pulled into the story and no matter how bad it gets or how grisly or violent, you just keep reading. At times it's like those accidents on the side of the road, you don't want to look but as the car drives by you look anyway; not knowing whether you want to see "something" or not. It's not the violence of these stories that get to one, it's the plausibility within the context of the story. The what if of the story, could just being a vampire really change the nature of the person that much that such horrors are acceptable? What price survival? And are some prices just too high to pay? Can anyone really be the same person they were, after they know the answer to the question that's been floating about the core plotlines of all the previous novels in this series? This is an excellent series, and Every Last Drop doesn't disappoint, adding to the continuing story arc while standing solidly on its own.

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