A Chill in the Blood (Vampire Files Series #7)

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Overview

Jack Fleming was a man of many trades. When he was alive, he was a reporter with a nose for the grittiest news. Now that he's dead, he's a private eye with a thirst for justice - and blood. But being a vampire with morals is no midnight stroll on the mean streets of post-Prohibition Chicago. There's a cold wind blowing off the lake. It smells of death. And even Jack can feel its chill. For in the city of sin, the gangs still rule - and they're on the brink of an all-out war. No one - not the crooks or the cops - ...
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Overview

Jack Fleming was a man of many trades. When he was alive, he was a reporter with a nose for the grittiest news. Now that he's dead, he's a private eye with a thirst for justice - and blood. But being a vampire with morals is no midnight stroll on the mean streets of post-Prohibition Chicago. There's a cold wind blowing off the lake. It smells of death. And even Jack can feel its chill. For in the city of sin, the gangs still rule - and they're on the brink of an all-out war. No one - not the crooks or the cops - cares how much blood, innocent or otherwise, flows during the fight. No one - except a certain undead PI. Caught between the local hoods and the boys from New York, can Jack stop the battle before it starts? And how much of his remaining humanity will he have to give up to do so?
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Brisk and bloody action paces this slick new case in Elrod's Vampire Files, which picks up where the series left off with Blood on the Water (1992). Conscientious PI Jack Fleming, who's a vampire, still prowls the mean streets of Depression-era Chicago, putting the bite on crooks and reflecting wryly on his divided nature ("Sure I was a vampire, but like everyone else on the planet I'm still only human"). Although one of the undead, he's the least cold-blooded character in this hard-boiled shoot-em-up laced with larceny and murder. From the moment he's fished off the bottom of Lake Michigan in the opening pages, he finds himself a pawn in a brutal turf war waged by mob moll Angela Paco and a rival from New York eager to usurp her control of the Hydra syndicate. Jack's efforts to contain the combat and save the skin of a bookkeeper caught in the crossfire are complicated by the intrusion of Merrill Adkins, a federal crimebuster as vicious as the hoods he hunts. And when $700,000 secretly skimmed from the Hydra coffers becomes part of the spoils, even he can't keep track of the double-crosses and betrayals. Elrod excels at creating sticky situations that test Jack's resolve to limit displays of his vampire powers to hypnotism and invisibility, and she finds room in the busy narrative to accommodate the involvement of debonair sidekick Charles Escott, alcoholic sawbones Doc Clarson and other series regulars. Echoes of Hammett and Chandler abound, but the novel succeeds in its own right as an entertaining exercise in supernatural noir. (June)
VOYA - Rachelle Bilz
Seventh in Elrod's Vampire Files series, A Chill in the Blood takes place in 1937 Chicago amid the dark world of gangsters and crooked cops. Action occurs fast and furious as private investigators Charles Escott and Jack Fleming get caught in the crossfire of rival gangs. Jack Fleming is a private eye with a difference; he is a vampire. With the ability to vanish, hypnotize people, and withstand any type of physical injury, Jack definitely has an edge over his enemies. Jack is a vampire with a moral code that includes an aversion to murder and a reliance on animal blood. Elrod effectively places the reader in post-prohibition Chicago through references to historical figures such as Jesse Owens and Al Capone and events like the St. Valentine's Day massacre. The blend of vampires and gangsters makes for a tale filled with action, blood, and violence. Appropriate to the milieu, graphic descriptions of physical damage and strong language may limit this adult novel to an older YA audience. This novel contains a succinct summation of previous action in the series. It can stand alone but reading the other books in this series would enable the reader to better understand the relationships between characters and the motivations for some of their actions. VOYA Codes: 3Q 2P S (Readable without serious defects, For the YA with a special interest in the subject, Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12).
Library Journal
As a pair of powerful gangland bosses prepare for a bloody war of vengeance and retaliation in the streets of 1930's Chicago, private investigator Jack Fleming insinuates himself into the center of the maelstrom in an attempt to prevent a violent confrontation. Fleming's vampiric nature and his struggle to control his thirst for blood adds a touch of the supernatural to the latest installment of Elrod's popular Vampire Files series. The author's combination of dark fantasy and hard-boiled detective story glistens with wry humor and sharp dialog. A good choice for most libraries.
Kirkus Reviews
Hardcover outing for this established series entitled The Vampire Files, from the author of another vampire yarn (Keeper of the King, 1997, with Nigel Bennett). This one's a gumshoe/vampire hybrid set in 1937 Chicago, where Jack Fleming, once a hard-nosed reporter, is now a vampire p.i. caught in the middle of post-Prohibition gang warfare. Jack's partner is a professorial Englishman, Charles Escott, while his girlfriend Bobbi sings in a nightclub owned by good-guy gangster Gordy. Elrod takes us right into the middle of the furious but deft plotting and brisk, believable action. Big-time mobster Vaughn Kyler, having kidnapped rival Frank Paco, is now dead; Angola Paco has retrieved her father but, unfortunately, Frank's gone gaga. The Paco gang won't accept Angela as their boss, however, so she's forced to use Frank as a mouthpiece. Neither is Angela particular about who gets hurt as she takes revenge on the remnants of Kyler's outfit. The latterþproblematically for Jack, Angela, and everybody elseþhave requested the presence of ruthless Irish mobster Sean Sullivan from New York. Snappy vampire-with-a-conscience yarn, laced with a blackish humor that comes in somewhere between wry and wisecracking.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780441006274
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 6/1/1999
  • Series: Vampire Files Series , #7
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 327
  • Product dimensions: 4.22 (w) x 6.72 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2003

    Vampire and Chicago Gangsters

    This book is indeed a fun read. P.N. Elrod continues the sagas of Jack Flemming, Vampire, and his adventures with the mobsters and corrupt polititions during post prohobition in Chicago. This episode finds Jack caught between several local mob bosses, the boys from New York who are showing their muscle and of course the corrupt arm of the law. The book is very entertaining, funny, a mystery, has good old fashioned Chicagoland gangsters, and a Vampire who does his best to keep the peace. Jack, as most Vampires nowadays has a conscience and will not feed from humans, but by living in Chicago close to the stockyards always provides him with all the nutrition he needs. If you're looking for a fast paced, gangster mystery with a good hearted Vampire, then you're going to enjoy this book.

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    Posted December 31, 2011

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