This is an unusual blend of genres, that’s worth taking a look at.
Title: X-Rated Bloodsuckers
Author: Mario Acevedo
Original Publication Date: February 27, 2007
Cover Price: $13.95 US, $17.50 Can
Past fiction reviews can be found here.
A vampire private investigator is hired to investigate the death of a porn star, who may or may not have been aware of an inapropriate level of vampire-related information the human population possessed.
This is the second book in the (currently two book) series.
Not going overboard on the porn aspects. With this setting, Acevedo could have gone completely overboard. While this is certainly not devoid of sex, it’s generally implied, and never feels forced.
While the hero was certainly instrumental to the conclusion of the story, I did feel a bit dissatisfied when one particular plot thread was tied up by another character.
This is an original combination of classic elements. Take a traditional film noir gumshoe, make him a vampire, and throw him into a combination of politics and L.A.’s other film industry, and you’ve got a new mix. I give it 4 out of 6.
The imagery is what it needs to be in a detective story. Everything is seen through our detective’s eyes, revealing the important (or distracting but unimportant) elements of the surroundings to us mixed in with the red herrings. The major clues to the mystery are all present. Unfortunately, details not relevant to the mystery that would help readers unfamiliar with L.A. picture these locations are sometimes missing. I give it 5 out of 6.
The story carries itself nicely through the novel. We can follow along and solve the mystery as quickly as our hero does (and, thankfully, not much faster than he does). My only complaints come about in the last few pages. As mentioned, one action which needed to happen was taken by someone else, which was a bit of an irritation for me. Also, the epilogue for our hero was a little quick, and seems to be used mainly to open the door for a third book in the series (which wouldn’t be a bad thing.) I give it 4 out of 6.
The characterization of our hero, Felix Gomez, works well. He’s on his way to being the hardened Sam Spade style P.I., but he hasn’t been a vampire long enough to cut out that much of his emotion. His new sidekick, Coyote, can sometimes be overly goofy, but does provide the fun and much of the humour needed to lighten the mood. I give it 4 out of 6.
The emotional response is good. The realistically slow pace of the initial stages in the investigation dragged a bit, but Felix’ sardonic attitude kept things moving until the case itself picks up in the second half. I give it 4 out of 6.
The editing is fairly good. As I said above, there’s a lot of room with this setup for marketable distractions, but the leash was tight enough to avoid dramatic deviations in this regard. I only noticed two typos, which is very good for a first printing of this length. I give it 5 out of 6.
Overall, it’s an entertaining blend of genres that I’d recommend to fans of any individual genre looking for something new. I give it 4 out of 6.
In total, X-Rated Bloodsuckers receives 30 out of 42.