Steakley, John


3 out of 5

(1 book)


Jack Crow is the leader of a team of hard-bitten vampire-hunting mercenaries, who risk their lives in the sure and certain knowledge that sooner or later their job will kill them.  When Team Crow is ambushed, Jack has to rebuild the team and face a terrifying new revelation: the vampires know his name.

It's been a terribly long time since I saw the John Carpenter film (starring James Woods) which was based on this book and therefore my reading of it wasn't coloured by the movie, with the exception of the particularly vivid scene where Team Crow uses harpoons to drag screaming vampires into the sunlight to burn.

Steakley tells his tale compellingly, but the truth is there is very little here that's new.  I was finding it fairly trashy to begin with; hard-drinking macho-men tooled up with weapons, sort of like 'Expendables' but with vampires.  These super-violent vampire stories were a big thing in the 90s, thanks largely to the success of 'From Dusk Til Dawn'.  Thankfully there is a break in all that about halfway through, when the author does a very good job of exploring the subtler, more seductive side of vampire mythology through the survivor-story of a traumatised young woman.

One element of Steakley's writing that did intrigue me was the way in which the characters could easily be swapped out into a story about soldiers fighting on the front lines.  There's a very Vietnam-esque vibe to the grim determination and hopeless futility that the author instills in both Jack Crow and William Charles Felix.

This is no great work of literature, but it's good enough to give a try if you're an enthusiast of the vampire genre.

3 out of 5


Horror (here)