Manitou Blood - Graham Masterton

(Manitou, #4)

In one of the hottest summers for decades, New York City is being swept by a strange and terrible epidemic. Doctors are helpless as victims fall prey to a bizarre blood disorder. They can no longer eat solid food, they become hypersensitive to sunlight ? and they have an irresistible need to drink human blood. As panic grips the city, and mobs of bloodthirsty people roam the streets, self-taught psychic Harry Erskine has to enter the shadowy realms between the living and the dead, and call on America's native spirits to help him in a struggle for human survival in which death is only the beginning . . .

Manitou Blood is the fourth novel in the 'Manitou' series.

One key to having a book guaranteed for a reader to adore is by including a beloved hero. Harry Erskine is perfect for that role, being quirky, silly, over-the-top, and humorous while never being corny or self-apologetic. He admits he doesn't know what he's doing but life sucks him in time and time again anyway. He's not a manly man afraid of admitting his fear, but he reaches deep inside himself to pull out inner strength when he really has to. Despite the hysterical dialogue and mannerisms of the hero, this book is anything but a comedy.

Dipped into historical lore and legend, the reading is rich, the history and background making it all the more fascinating. This intelligence creates a complicated backbone to the traditional horror novel. Pace is very quick without being overeager to climax too soon. This is certainly not your traditional 'vampire story', and vampires really aren't the main focus at all as you read deeper into the story. It is the almost perfect medium of violence, fear, sex, and comedy. All characters, not just Harry, are convincing and fun to follow. Have no fear, haters of romantic fiction, no sexy Anne Rice type vampires will be found HERE. The ancient, potent primary villain is one pissed off spirit to be reckoned with. He makes sure those who get in his way pay in horrifying ways, and he's no easy foe to overcome.

Suspense is taut at the right scenes, with a generous portion of gore. The 'mystery' is alluringly complex and it's never possible to figure out what's going to happen next, and I guarantee no one will know what's coming at the end. Masterton's fine writing style just keeps improving, his imagination seemingly bottomless. Although a part of a series, this is book that's easy to follow as a standalone, while continuing the Manilou thread in a way that will keep fans of the other books pleased.

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