Title: Already Dead (Joe Pit #1)
Author: Charlie Huston
Publisher: Orbit
Publication Date: 28 Feb 2007
Paperback: 277 pages
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: Review Copy

Reviewed by: Carolyn

RATING: 8/10 – Brilliant, couldn’t put it down.


They live among us, slaves to the very condition that empowers them. They are the Vampyre, and their sole chance at survival lies in banding into Clans. Only Joe Pitt has gone his own way. The upside is freedom. The downside is there’s nobody on his side when trouble comes around.

Joe gets rough receptions from all the countless Clans shifting about on the island of Manhattan, but his current trouble is with the Coalition ? the Clan that controls the city river to river, from 14th Street to 110th Street. To make things right, Joe takes on his most perilous case: The daughter of a prominent New York family is missing, and her Vampyre fascination makes Joe the ideal man for this high-stakes job. With his ferocious style, Charlie Huston offers a thrilling new twist to one of our oldest myths.


Already Dead is exactly what I was hoping for: gritty, edgy and dark, and I was pulled into Joe Pitt’s life from the very first page. Joe is a vampyre and a paranormal detective of sorts, and is investigating deaths by zombie and the disappearance of a young girl after being hired by her mother who desperately wants her found. As the investigation moves along, both cases come together in a satisfying conclusion.

Joe doesn’t give off great vibes at the beginning of the book, and he’s even slightly unlikable, a bit of a sleazy character, with a sad and unsavoury past. But after a while I started to like him. He’s actually a good guy who’s just trying to get by, living his life as he wants to live it. Although sometimes it gets him into trouble.

Joe’s world is that of rival vampyre gangs, which divide New York City. Joe belongs to neither, a rogue vampyre, preferring to stay neutral and only taking jobs from the rival clans when it suits him. This is treading dangerous ground, as each clan wants him to join them, and Joe knows it’s only a matter of time before they make him choose.

There’s also a side of romance with the addition of Evie, a human woman with her own problems, especially with her health. She isn’t aware of Joe’s ‘disease’ and he’s not sure he wants to tell her. And yet the very thing that makes him a vampyre could save her life. We see a sweeter, gentler side to Joe when he’s with Evie and I look forward to seeing how this relationship develops throughout the series.

Huston doesn’t use quotation marks, although each passage of speech is separated with a dash. I thought this would cause confusion when I first started reading, but each character is so distinctive that I had no problem recognising who was talking.

Vampyrism is caused by a Vyrus and zombies are made by the transference of a bacteria which needs to feed on brains to survive, so there’s enough lovely brain gorging to satisfy even the most diehard zombie fan.


Already Dead ‘is a unique take on the vampyre story and a brilliant read. It’s raw, atmospheric and has a very urban feel to it. If you love vampires and zombies then I’m sure you will love this book. But be warned this isn’t the run of the mill urban fantasy, it’s quite different with it’s noir fiction style, but it’s one I would recommend in a heartbeat. I can’t wait to read the rest of this fantastic series.

You can find out more about the author here:

I have a copy of Already Dead for one very lucky winner, courtesy of Orbit to giveaway.

To enter all you have to do is fill out this form!

This contest is International and ends Saturday (27th). Winner will be announced on Sunday (28th)



Carolyn created Book Chick City in July 2009 due to her love of books. A Brit chick obsessed with zombies, kick-arse chicks and sexy heroes. She's also seriously addicted to chocolate, shopping, and coffee. Her favourite genres are Urban Fantasy, Romance and Zombie Lit... Brrraaaaiiinnnnsss!


Aleksandra March 23, 2010 at 6:14 pm

Great review! I'll add the series on my reading list :)


Amanda Leigh March 23, 2010 at 8:48 pm

This is a new one for me and it sounds great! A new book for my wishlist! Great review!


Heather (DarklyReading) March 23, 2010 at 8:57 pm

This sounds like an interesting read – I haven't read a book yet that does dashes rather than quotations though for dialogue- I'm kinda curious if I'll be able to follow it.


Palindrome March 23, 2010 at 9:00 pm

I love when men write vampire stories. They take out all the sensuality and just make vampires creepy…like they should be. 😉

I hope I win!!


Kay March 23, 2010 at 9:39 pm

Great review! I have had this on my TBR pile for quite a while… but keep getting distracted by shinier books. Will have to get to it asap!


Keri K March 23, 2010 at 10:00 pm

I love the Joe Pitt books. This is not your normal vampire book, but sometimes you need to try a different view. I went to a Charlie Huston book signing and he was so cool.


Melissa March 23, 2010 at 10:12 pm

Zombie book! Good for the bbrrraaaiiinnnn! 😉 Sounds like a great read. I do need to get this one!


Book Chick City March 24, 2010 at 6:50 am

Aleksandra – I would definitely add to your reading list!

Amanda – thanks, and it really is a great read.

Heather – I've never come across a book without quotation marks either, but as I mentioned, the voices were distinct so it was easy to determine who was speaking. I'm sure you wouldn't have trouble following it :)

Palindrome – this wasn't really a 'creepy' novel but it was definitely raw and no holds barred! 😉

Kay – thanks! I would urge you to move it up your TBR pile, it really is a great read!

Keri – Oh wow, you lucky thing. I love meeting authors! I luckily have the entire series on my shelves so I can crack on with book two straight away! :)

Melissa – It's funny because although the story is mostly about zombies, as that's the nature of the case Pitt is working on, the underlying story is definitely vampire, so it's great for fans of both. And yes, there's lots of 'Braaaaaaainnsss! 😉


misskallie2000 March 27, 2010 at 6:39 pm

Great review, new author for me. I would love to win. Thanks for the opportunity to enter.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com


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