Quick: City of the Dead by Stephen Blackmoore, 2012, 9780756407025.
I used to read Blackmoore's LA crime blog. I quit reading his LA crime blog when I did a massive cut-back on online reading because I was taking up way too much time and distracting myself from work. Since then Blackmoore has himself given up on the blog and moved on.
This is a quick read and akin to the work of Charlie Huston and Duane Swierczynski. Low-level crooks and goons without a lot of brains who fight and kill their way out of trouble. A fast moving story.
Joe Sunday has been the hired goon of an L.A. crime boss for about 20 years. Joe meets-up with his leg breaking partner at a bar. His partner was supposed to recover a valuable stone from a guy. His partner is freaked out. His partner ends up slicing his own throat.
Joe is a bit unnerved. Joe meets up with the guy - the Bad Guy - who his partner met. Joe is captured. Joe is killed. Wait, Joe is not killed. Joe recovers. Joe has been cast by some weird black magic and is living dead. More things happen. Joe's boss is killed early on. The valuable stone is magical and needed to make the living dead curse lasting and side-effect-free. A current side effect for Living Dead Joe is a insatiable vampire style cannibalism. Joe eats a prostitute. Or was it a junky? Both?
More things happen. Joe recovers the stone and it is stolen again. A local cop gets involved. A mysterious hot chick gets involved. Bad Guy is really 700 years old. Bad Guy never dies, sometimes he just takes longer to recover. Joe meets up with hot Latina chick who is a powerful witch. Joe meets a djinn. Joe travels low-rent Los Angeles getting into and out of trouble.
1. No Browning Hi-Powers.
2. Tough guy chatter.
3. A quick and entertaining read. The story keeps moving along.
4. This copy has coffee stains all over it. The stains are not from me and I need to withdraw the book from the library.
5. Blackmoore's 2013 novel, Dead Things, is owned by Beaver Dam and Waterford. Does not seem to be a sequel.