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BLOOD ORANGES by Kathleen Tierney


by Kathleen Tierney

Pub Date: Feb. 5th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-451-46501-6
Publisher: ROC/Penguin

First of a wisecracking supernatural horror series, from an author who’s better known as Caitlín R. Kiernan (The Drowning Girl, 2012, etc.).

Narrator Siobhan Quinn—she insists, fiercely, on Quinn—a street-dwelling heroin addict, became a monster-slayer after killing a ghoul (though, as she finally admits, it was by accident). She has a steady supply of good dope and an apartment thanks to her benefactor, the mysterious fixer and manipulator she calls Mean Mr. B (he uses different names, all beginning with B, depending on circumstance and whim), since he considers it useful to have a monster-slayer in his debt. Having come to believe in her own notoriety, she goes werewolf hunting in Rhode Island. Instead of staying alert, however, Quinn shoots up and gets bitten by the werewolf—just as a vampire shows up! When she regains consciousness, astonished to have survived either antagonist, let alone both, she finds she’s now a werewolf and a vampire. At least she’s no longer an addict, and when Mr. B shows his pleasure at her new condition, she begins to suspect she’s now somebody’s weapon—but whose, and aimed at what? Clearly, she’d better find out—and fast. The New England setting is colorful and convincing, and Tierney populates it with a weird and splendid set of supernatural beings. Quinn isn’t the most reliable of narrators, though eventually she’ll stumble out with the truth; nor, as an investigator, does she prove the sharpest of wits, but she gets there. Add in the downbeat tone that somehow manages to be uplifting and the sort of gratuitously gory action that used to be called splatterpunk and readers are in for a memorably exhilarating and engaging experience.

Sly, sardonically nasty and amusingly clever.