Vamp noir

The vampire subgenre of horror literature gets a shot of noir, thanks to Charlie Huston. With prose stylization all his own, he audaciously suggests there’s a “vyrus” that infects people and turns them into “vampyres.” He provides a scientific basis for the infection and then creates a whole subculture of them living among the noninfected population on the island of Manhattan in clans with mapped territories. The key character in all this is Joe Pitt, a rogue vampyre who would be accepted by any clan if he wasn’t so ardently insistent on independence. Instead, clan leaders hire him as a detective, a bodyguard, an enforcer and a co-conspirator. He’s an emotional and endearing brute who has wiped out troublesome clans (and betrayed a few) in the previous four books in this series. Huston, who seems like a perfectly together dude at book signings, dispenses violence and immorality with a twist of arch and naughty creativity.