The Nymphos of Rocky Flats
Published 2006 354 pages
Summary (from the book jacket)
Felix Gomez went to Iraq a soldier. He came back a vampire.
Now he finds himself pulled into a web of intrigue when an old friend prompts him to investigate an outbreak of nymphomania at the secret government facilities in Rocky Flats. He’ll find out the cause of all these horny women or die trying!
But first he must contend with shadowy government agents, Eastern European vampire hunters, and women who just want his body…
The Nymphos of Rocky Flats is the first novel (in a series of three so far) written by Mario Acevedo featuring vampire PI Felix Gomez. Felix Gomez is a vampire tormented by guilt. While fighting as a soldier in Iraq he accidentally killed some civilians. He was then made into a vampire shortly afterwards (so he could suffer his guilt for longer) and his guilt has led to him refusing to drink human blood.
The vampires in this novel are a mixture of classic vampire myth and the author’s own inventions. They can go out in the day if they wear sunscreen and makeup and while Felix doesn’t have to sleep in a coffin, he prefers to. They can shapeshift into the form of a wolf and can hypnotise mortals (leaving the humans confused when they wake up posed in compromising situations with no idea how they got there.) They can survive on animal blood although they lose their vampire powers and this is the case with Felix. His loss of vampire powers is a real problem for him as he has a team of crack vampire hunters on his trail and will need all his strength to avoid getting staked.
The Nymphos of Rocky Flats has many elements of hardboiled detective fiction - an unlikely detective hero who gets beaten up quite a lot while solving the case and getting the girl (or dryad in Felix’s case) - mixed with a large dose of humour. The humour is derived from the author’s observation of everyday strangeness turned bizarre - conspiracy theories, government bureaucracy and aliens all feature prominently in this story. While it appealed my appreciation of the bizarre it is amusing rather than laugh out loud funny. Probably the best way to describe the style of this novel would be to say that it reminds me of the works of Carl Hiaasen. And yes, I know that Carl Hiaasen doesn’t write about vampires - but if he did the results might be something like The Nymphos of Rocky Flats.
This mixture of detective fiction and humour means that The Nymphos of Rocky Flats lacks the extremely hard edges of Charlie Huston’s hardboiled vampire PI (Joe Pitt) novels and at the same time it isn’t as out-right funny as Andrew Fox’s Fat White Vampire Blues but it has its own unique charms - such as irresistibly likeable characters and an intriguing plot for starters.
The Nymphos of Rocky Flats is both entertaining and thrilling but above all it makes for fun reading. If you like both mystery novels and vampires, and have an appreciation for the bizarre, you are going to enjoy this novel.
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