Hardcover outing for this established series entitled The Vampire Files, from the author of another vampire yarn (Keeper of the King, 1997, with Nigel Bennett). This one's a gumshoe/vampire hybrid set in 1937 Chicago, where Jack Fleming, once a hard-nosed reporter, is now a vampire p.i. caught in the middle of post-Prohibition gang warfare. Jack's partner is a professorial Englishman, Charles Escott, while his girlfriend Bobbi sings in a nightclub owned by good-guy gangster Gordy. Elrod takes us right into the middle of the furious but deft plotting and brisk, believable action. Big-time mobster Vaughn Kyler, having kidnapped rival Frank Paco, is now dead; Angola Paco has retrieved her father but, unfortunately, Frank's gone gaga. The Paco gang won't accept Angela as their boss, however, so she's forced to use Frank as a mouthpiece. Neither is Angela particular about who gets hurt as she takes revenge on the remnants of Kyler's outfit. The latter—problematically for Jack, Angela, and everybody else—have requested the presence of ruthless Irish mobster Sean Sullivan from New York. Snappy vampire-with-a-conscience yarn, laced with a blackish humor that comes in somewhere between wry and wisecracking.
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