It’s been a year since the fallout at the end of Already Dead and Joe’s been taking it easy, staying out of trouble. After all, when the Coalition’s spymaster Dexter Predo and the Society’s head of security Tom Nolan are out for your blood, it’s probably best to keep a low profile. Unfortunately, Joe’s blood stash is running low, jobs have been scarce, and he’s just learned from his HIV-positive girlfriend Evie that her disease has taken a turn for the worse. So he does the only thing he can think of — go back to his old pal Terry Bird, the leader of the Society, and ask for a little help. What he gets is a clandestine mission to find out about some new “high” called Anathema that is specifically for Vampyres. As one might expect if you know anything of noir, what starts out as a simple reconnaissance becomes dangerously complicated as Joe finds himself caught in a brewing turf war between the Hood, Coalition and the Society. In short, No Dominion is basically a novel about “setups and betrayals and backstabbing and power plays…”
Charlie Huston’s second Joe Pitt Casebook was a little different from the first one. For starters, it has a little slower beginning, but once Joe hops on that A train watch out! From there, the book really picks up the tempo as Joe finds himself in the middle of a power struggle between the Hood’s DJ Grave Digga & Papa Doc; then he’s ensnared by the vicious Lady Vandewater who’s working on a devious scheme to incite a war between the clans; which leads back to the Society, a Coalition plot and a coup attempt. Personally, I love this kind of storytelling — all of the tangled threads, red herrings, double crosses and unexpected revelations… Highly entertaining.
I will admit though that the book was a bit light in the action department compared to Already Dead, and that it seemed to spend a lot of time at the end explaining what exactly just happened. I guess it was a little complicated, but still. Aside from all of the political maneuvering, there was actually other stuff going on in No Dominion. One was the subplot with Joe’s girlfriend Evie, which I mentioned earlier. Nothing much really happens in the book regarding this, but I think it’ll be a major issue in the next JOE PITT novel. Of more significance was the actual Vyrus. We get to learn a bit more about it like how it only infects certain “straights” (normal people), and how there might be some truth to the Enclave’s belief that the Vyrus is spiritual in nature. It’s definitely an interesting concept and I can’t wait to see where Charlie Huston goes with it… And that about sums up No Dominion. The book was just as enjoyable as the first JOE PITT novel, if for different reasons, and left a little more hanging than its predecessor, but Charlie Huston once again delivers…
Joe Pitt Casebooks — (2005-2009) Publisher: Those stories you hear? The ones about things that only come out at night? Things that feed on blood, feed on us? Got news for you: they’re true. Only it’s not like the movies or old man Stoker’s storybook. It’s worse. Especially if you happen to be one of them. Just ask Joe Pitt. There’s a shambler on the loose. Some fool who got himself infected with a flesh-eating bacteria is lurching around, trying to munch on folks’ brains. Joe hates shamblers, but he’s still the one who has to deal with them. That’s just the kind of life he has. Except afterlife might be better word. From the Battery to the Bronx, and from river to river, Manhattan is crawling with Vampyres. Joe is one of them, and he’s not happy about it. Yeah, he gets to be stronger and faster than you, and he’s tough as nails and hard to kill. But spending his nights trying to score a pint of blood to feed the Vyrus that’s eating at him isn’t his idea of a good time. And Joe doesn’t make it any easier on himself. Going his own way, refusing to ally with the Clans that run the undead underside of Manhattan — it ain’t easy. It’s worse once he gets mixed up with the Coalition — the city’s most powerful Clan — and finds himself searching for a poor little rich girl who’s gone missing in Alphabet City. Now the Coalition and the girl’s high-society parents are breathing down his neck, anarchist Vampyres are pushing him around, and a crazy Vampyre cult is stalking him. No time to complain, though. Got to find that girl and kill that shambler before the whip comes down… and before the sun comes up.