Monday, September 21, 2009
Blood Groove by Alex Bledsoe (review)
Title: Blood Groove
Author: Alex Bledsoe
Length: 8 and 1/2 hours
Dewey Decimal: F Ble
Groovy man, it's bloody and groovy.
I've read Bledsoe's The Sword-Edged Blonde (review here) and was very impressed. In listening to Blood Groove and reading his next Eddie LaCrosse novel, Burn Me Deadly, at the same time, I've taken my level of appreciation for Alex to a new level. In the world of Eddie LaCrosse, there's a hint of magic here and there while Eddie solves crimes in a fantasy-style world. Think of a sword-wielding private detective and that's Eddie.
But when you read Blood Groove, be prepared to through all of your preconceived ideas of Eddie's world, Alex's writing style, and vampires out the window.
We start with Baron Rudolfo Zginski, the evil vampire stuck in quasi-stasis until he arises from the dead in 1975 in Memphis. Zginski and the 70s are characters in and of themselves. Sometimes fighting each other, sometimes working in concert. Zginski is an old-school vampire that knows his stuff, but is out of his element as he's been "dead" for sixty years.
Enter the mid-70s. Racial tensions, drugs, and free love are all running rampant in the southern town of Memphis and Zginski struggles to adapt. Fortunately his vampire powers help him out of a few tight spots until he can find others of his kind.
Along the way people die, people become vampires, and vampires die. And that's just the start. Zginski's vampire crew is nothing like you've seen before, nor is Zginski. They can do some of the "usual" stuff we've heard of before like mess with people's minds and turn into a wolf, but they can also walk in the daylight and can be killed by a secret white powder.
While bodies are piling up, Zginski is fortunate to have landed in a time when DNA evidence was ten years away and crime scene investigation was still stuck in the old world of photographs and sketches.
There's a lot to talk about with this book, but I don't want to give too much away. So instead, I'll leave you with a warning. And a stern one at that. This is NOT a book for children. In fact, if this were a movie, I'd say it would fall into the NC-17 classification easily. There are sex scenes that are very detailed. And while the violence is also graphic, it didn't compare to the sex scenes. But don't worry, they don't take away from the story. If anything they add to it.
In the end, Alex's Blood Groove is hugely different from The Sword-Edged Blonde and Burn Me Deadly. He has proven he can easily write in a different genre without sacrificing the quality of his work. And while many call his Eddie LaCrosse novels a cross between a mystery and a fantasy, I would call Blood Groove a cross between real vampires and erotica.