In Haspil's debut novel, two immortal cops—a mummy and a vampire—work to solve killings in a Miami where humans and vampires (as well as other supernatural creatures) have reached a tenuous peace.
The buddy-cop formula gets an undead twist with Alex—also known as the pharaoh Menkaure, reanimated to carry out an eternal duty—and Marcus, his vampiric colleague, who serve as cops in a special paranormal unit. Between the two of them, they have several thousand years' worth of superpowers and martial aptitude. But when someone starts tainting the synthetic blood that allows vampires to coexist with humans, the resulting anarchy tests even Alex's and Marcus' formidable abilities. The two cops run into reminders of their pasts as they trace a trail a bodies—a lot of bodies—back to their source. (Alex and Marcus add a few bodies to that trail while they're at it.) The action is gritty, cinematic, and unrelenting...perhaps at the expense of characterization. After 350 pages, the reader knows more about Alex's and Marcus' badass abilities than their personalities, a gap exacerbated by the narrative's offhand, coy hints at their histories, which never deepen into true exploration. But the worldbuilding is intriguing (as a figure drawn from Egyptian mythos, Alex injects fresh blood into undead tropes), and the reader runs no chance of growing bored during the tense race to the finish, in which a confrontation with an old enemy lays the groundwork for a potential sequel.
Fans of urban fantasy, noir, and tightly choreographed action scenes will enjoy the blood and bullets in this adrenaline-heavy ride through crime scenes and secret societies; just don't expect too much introspection.