Every Last Drop: A Joe Pitt Novel (Joe Pitt Casebook 4)
by Charlie Huston
Review by Gayle Surrette
Orbit Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9781841496818
Date: 05 March 2009 List Price £7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK /
The fourth title in this gritty and compelling vampire series by Charlie Huston - check out my review of Already Dead, the first in the sequence. Every Last Drop is an Orbit paperback original. Reviewed this issue by Gayle Surrette.
"After a year hiding out in the Bronx, Joe Pitt is given an assignment he can't refuse. One Clan needs Joe to inform on another, but he's playing them both while keeping his eye on the main prize: his girl Evie is on the Island somewhere and he'll do anything to get her back. And in this case, 'anything' means coming face to face with the horrendous secret that lies beneath the Vampyre world. It's a quest that will drive him to the heart of the two most perplexing mysteries of the Vampyre community: how were the Clans originally formed, and where do the powerful ones get all that blood? The search for the answer takes Joe to a dark corner of Queens, puts him face to face with a mythic and savage Clan, and leaves him in possession of a vision he'll never scrape off his retinas - as well as a bargaining chip that redefines his place in the Vampyre universe."
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.