In the last few years there has been a rise of what I like to call H-Noir, or horror noir. You know the sort of book where a wise cracking, hard drinking detective gets pulled into a seedy underworld populated with all kinds of supernatural denizens. As a rule I like these sort of stories, I love horror and I love Noir, however as with most things these sort of stories quickly merge into one another, with far too many cookie cutter plots, far too many rugged heroes and far to many dames and broads to be rescued. At times it feels like the Maltese Falcon has packed its bags and flown south for the winter.
Then just when everything seems lost after heading down another Blind Alley, the King of The Underworld bursts forth and takes the reader on a fantastic journey through the dark underbelly of Las Vegas. Gardner Goldsmith's Bite, is a powerhouse of a novella,which delivers a rapid one two punch of tight H-Noir thrills straight to the cranium.
Sylvester Cole is brilliant creation, on the surface he sounds like every other hero in this sort of book, but look closer this is a a character with depth. Gardner Goldsmith has cleverly given us a leading man who is nearing the end of his story. The Dark Past of Sylvester is only hinted at we know he did something wrong, something that forced him to leave his old life behind and become a Voice In The Wind, killing those monsters that haunt our darkest nightmares.
Cole if a fabulous creation, he reads like an old prize fighter, proud, strong, world weary, almost broken, but refusing to go down for the final count. He wants out, and is in the process of getting out of the game. But a meeting with a dazzling dame at a bar drags Cole back into the dirty business.
What follows is a tense, character driven, yet action packed narrative that blows the cobwebs from this already stale genre. Goldsmith's writing is assured and witty, he weaves cracking dialogue with explosive action sequences to create a story that takes the reader to dark and scary part of the city where the Sidewalk Ends.
Bite is my kind of story, its the sort of story that makes me want to go out and find every other piece of writing that the author has published. This is a bloody, gritty and whiskey soaked masterpiece of vampiric action, that, excuse the pun, puts the bite back into the vampire genre.
If you are reading this Gardner, I want to know more about Cole, so come on lets know more about his journey and write some more books about him.
What would you do if your career began with promise, if your plans for life seemed well on their way, but, due to your own mistakes, the bottom suddenly dropped out?
What if that clean, prosperous, happy family life was lost, and you were left to slide deeper and deeper into the “underground”, each strange job more obscure and bizarre than the next?
Where would you land? How long could you stomach that world?
Could you do the kind of job that others fear or don’t believe exists?
Sylvester Cole can. He has for too many years, and now he wants out. Long ago on track to become a literature professor, Sylv made one big mistake, and he’s paid for it since. Maybe he’s made himself pay. He’s not exactly sure.
But one thing is certain, now in his mid-fifties, he’s had enough. He’s saved up his cash and gold. He’s bought a plane ticket out of Vegas, and he’s ready to retire.
Silvester Cole wants one chance at life.
Because Sylvester Cole is sick of re-killing the dead.
But when Sylv wanders into his favorite watering hole to say goodbye to his friends of convenience, he’s confronted with an opportunity of a different sort: a girl, who just might give him that chance to snatch life and love out of the hands of fate – by re-killing one last time.
“Bite” is a noir novella that brings you back to what horror is all about: emotional, psychological, spiritual stakes. Its voice is real, and its action is aggressive.
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