Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyIn what promises to be the first of a series, Lord shows that he has a good eye for detail, but this debut novel amounts to little more than an episodic account of the kills of his remorseless vampire protagonist, Jean-Luc "Jack" Courbet. Having been converted to vampirism, along with his actress mother, No l, in 1870s Paris by Phillipe, Marquis de Charnac, Jack stalks the all-too-trusting and willing gay men of Greenwich Village. His crimes draw the attention of not only the local gay press (which chronicles "the Horror of West Street") but also his despised mother, who's attempting to blackmail her son into revealing the location of Phillipe's grimoires of power. Jack's lethal seductions of his victims, fleetingly met and unmourned, are too gruesome for a sustained erotic charge. The author forgets that it is the threat, not the actual act of killing, that produces the greatest emotional tension and interest. In addition, the sexual explicitness may be disconcerting for readers seeking more conventional or "straight" thrills. As one character tersely comments toward the end of the novel, "And as smart as you are, and with all that you've learned over the years, you couldn't find another way to stay alive without killing people?" The same could be asked of the motives of this talented author. Lord could establish a name for himself, provided he stops treating potential victims of his darker creations as numbers to be disposed of swiftly after use. On the other hand, he may remain content to produce the gay vampire equivalent to American Psycho. (May 1) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library JournalThe vampire Jean-Luc Courbet rises after sunset and admires his own beautiful physique before going out to the gay bars of New York City. There he trolls for good-looking young men with whom he can have sex. Unfortunately for these fellows, Jean-Luc follows his lovemaking by draining them of every drop of their blood. He hides the bodies as well as he can, but soon enough the police discover them along with additional corpses killed in the same way. It seems that another vampire is at work, and Jean-Luc suspects an old enemy. Through flashbacks, the reader learns how Jean-Luc became one of the undead and who it is that wants to destroy him. There are many things to criticize about this novel stilted dialog, poor plotting, lack of character development but this book has nothing even remotely to do with literature. It is about titillating the reader with one sex scene after another. Not a suitable purchase for most public libraries. Patricia Altner, Information Seekers, Bowie, MD Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus ReviewsDebut novel of a swank gay-vampire series set in Greenwich Village. Jean-Luc Courbet, who bounds over tall buildings, has been around for more than 100 years and, in fact, attended the premiere of Moussorgski's Boris Godunov at the Bolshoi in 1888, which he recalls while having a neck of a long drink in his box at Manhattan's Metropolitan Opera. Jean-Luc is a towering snob (the Met is dowdy, American apartments are too squat to be graceful), though in the States he calls himself "Jack." Just arrived on this shore, Jack takes up Village digs and cruises nightly for trim, well-built men, drinking them dry during their raptures as he sodomizes them. Though his beauty narcotizes his victims, we have a hard time warming up to this ice-cold hero, whose normal temperature gives his victims goose-bumps. Before setting forth each evening, with cowboy boots to give him extra height, Jack first sends forth his dark-winged spirit to scan Village streets for the victim whose blood will keep vampirism healthy in his ageless flesh. Nice facts about Jack: he stocks his apartment with food and toilet paper he never uses; his sebaceous glands secrete no oil, so he leaves no fingerprints; he makes love with sexy little nips and bites over an hour's passage, the victim unaware of blood loss. The narrative darts about France and London in long italicized passages as we discover Jean-Luc's origins: his mother, Noël Courbet, 14 when she gave birth to her bastard, went on to become France's greatest actress before Bernhardt. Vastly rich (and blood-sucking) Phillipe de Charnac "turned" Noël, married her, then turned his stepson and became Jean-Luc's lover before Noël murdered him. Shespends the rest of the novel chasing Jean-Luc, intending to kill him as well. Jack, meanwhile, falls for frighteningly beautiful Claude Halloran. Will Jack turn Claude? Will Noël fry Jack? Readably bloody, gay lore galore, but regrettably lacking in gay humor.
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