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No Dominion Cover Picture

No Dominion

Charlie Huston

Published 2006      248 pages

Summary (from the back cover)

Something’s rotten in the Big Apple…

There’s a new problem on the streets of Joe Pitt’s neighbourhood, a new danger for the Vampyre Clans of New York City.  A vicious new high that a Vampyre can spike into a vein, a perilous addiction that could tear the lid off Joe’s world and expose it to the light of day.

From his Lower East Side streets to the uptown turf of DJ Grave Digga’s Hood, Joe’s got to find the source of the scourge, cut it off, bleed it out, and get the hell home by sunrise.  Enforcers, Vampyre hounds, anarchist turncoats, mystical zealots, and a punk named The Count all have skin in the game, and are out for Joe’s hide.

Way things are going this night, they’re gonna have to stand in line.

The Review

No Dominion is the second outing for Charlie Huston’s vampire PI protagonist Joe Pitt and follows on about a year after where Already Dead left off.  Readers of Already Dead will already be familiar with Huston’s dark (and I mean dark) uber violent, noir style of writing.  For those readers who are not familiar with Joe Pitt, imagine Raymond Chandler’s classic gumshoe Philip Marlowe as a vampire living in 21st century New York city and you are not too far away from Joe Pitt.

“Oh, no!” I hear you cry, “Not another vampire PI, solving supernatural mysteries and saving the whole of humanity from evil monsters out of the goodness left in their soul.”  Well, no.  The author wasn’t channelling Joss Whedon’s Angel when he wrote No Dominion he was in a much darker place. 

At the start of No Dominion the reader is dropped straight into the action from the opening sentence as Joe Pitt tackles a drug crazed vampyre through a safety glass window.  He doesn’t do this to save the human bystanders from being hurt; he does it out of self interest, not wanting anyone to pay too much attention as the vampyre runs amok.  He then deals with the drug addict by taking him to his favourite body dump site and breaking his neck.  Problem solved.

Joe Pitt is an independent rogue vampire, meaning that he is unaffiliated to any of the vampire clans.  Being independent and disliking most people, except for his girlfriend Evie, he is all about looking out for himself.  He is useful to the Society (a gang of liberal vampyres lead by an ex-hippy called Terry) he does jobs for them on occasion and in return they tolerate his presence in their territory but no-one really likes a rogue vampyre.  Hard times lead to Joe asking Terry for a job and this drags him into investigating the origins of the new drug that the vampyres are taking.  For himself, he really doesn’t care that drug is killing vampyre newbies - it is just another job.  This like-I-could-give-a-shit attitude carries him through the novel as blood is shed and the mysteries are unravelled.  The answers he finds are never quite what they seem to be and both humans and vampyres alike die horrible deaths in the investigation process.

No Dominion is a short novel at just under 250 pages but it is tightly plotted and executed, with a multi-facetted plotline crammed into those pages.  So while it is a quick read it is also a satisfyingly meaty read that the reader can get their teeth into (no pun intended).  No Dominion takes the reader on a violent tour through the hidden world of vampire gangs in Manhattan and with Joe Pitt as the tour guide the trip is both thrilling and bloody.

Original, hip, stylish and oh-so-bloody, No Dominion is a treat for the literary vampire fan.  You don’t want to miss this.

LoveVampires Review Rating:

Review Rating: 5 stars out of 5

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