The Western Territories, 1880. For four years, Civil War veteran and former U.S. Cavalry Captain Jonas P. Hollister has been rotting in a prison cell at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. His crime: lying about the loss of eleven soldiers under his command . . . who he claims were slaughtered by a band of nonhuman, blood-drinking demons. But now a famous visitor, the detective Allan Pinkerton, has arrived with an order for Hollister's release. The brutal murder of a group of Colorado miners in a fashion frighteningly similar to the deaths of Hollister's men has leant new credence to his wild tale. And suddenly Jonas Hollister finds himself on a quest both dangerous and dark-joining forces with Pinkerton, the gunsmith Oliver Winchester, an ex-fellow prisoner, a woman of mystery, and a foreigner named Abraham Van Helsing, who knows many things about the monsters of the night-and riding hell for leather toward an epic confrontation . . . with the undead.
Spradlin (Jack and Jill Went Up to Kill: A Book of Zombie Nursery Rhymes) makes the Wild West of 1881 truly rambunctious. Det. Allan Pinkerton dispatches disgraced Army captain Jonas Hollister on a covert assignment to destroy renegade quasi-vampires called Archaics that destroyed Hollister's unit five years before and are now targeting small towns. Dissension within Archaic ranks pits Shaniah, who's concerned for her people's survival, against brutal Malachi, who is breaking Archaic laws by attacking humans. Hollister's intrepid and colorful team grows to include Shaniah, Chee (who boasts of "Cajun, Chinese, Creek, and Negro" ancestors), engineer Monkey Pete, and valiant town whore Sally. Abraham Van Helsing, in a cameo appearance, supplies comic relief and James Bond-ish special protections for Pinkerton's steam train. Romance alternates with mounting peril as a sleazy senator's evil, cologne-drenched henchman pursues Hollister, and exciting encounters with Archaics lead to spectacular firefights. The final showdown convincingly resolves all the plot threads and provides fans of the vampire western genre a delightful read. Agent: Steven Chudney, the Chudney Agency. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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September 25, 2012
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