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In the Blood Paperback – September 10, 2007
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"A pulsing, vividly pictorial novel exploring the lives of vampires . . . a great read throughout." -- Lea Schizas, Award-winning author of The Rock of Realm
About the Author
Of Rick R. Reed, Unzipped magazine said, "You could call him the Stephen King of gay horror." Reed has chronicled the sexual and horrific lives of the misbegotten in novels like Obsessed, Penance, A Face Without a Heart (named best novel of 2000 by QueerHorror.com) and IM. Upcoming novels Deadly Vision: Book One of the Cassandra Chronicles and Orientation. Reed's short fiction has appeared in nearly twenty anthologies; some of which can be found in his collection, Twisted: Tales of Obsession and Terror.
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Top Customer Reviews
Elise's life has gone in a very different direction then she ever thought. A good girl from a good family has landed in a seedy apartment in the worst part of Chicago. To keep a roof over her head and food on her plate, she turns tricks all night long while turning her emotions off to her deeper feelings about her profession and her clients. But by day, Elise is a brilliant artist, drawing dark emotional pictures that come from deep inside her. Nobody knows how brilliant her work is though, as her self esteem is at it's lowest and doesn't feel ready to show her work to anyone. In fact she goes to extremes to hide it from others. Her life is about to change though, when she breaks her cardinal rule and brings a client back to her apartment, he sees her work and tells his friends about it.
This client, Terence was no art dealer though. He is a vampire. His friends, also vampires. And..they happen to be art aficionados who's daily meals includes the flesh and blood of human beings. Elise knew deep down there was something a bit strange about this trick, but his mesmerizing charisma has her completely under his spell and agrees to meet his friends. Temporarily spared due to their interest in her art, Elise become enamored by Maria, the beautiful but deadly vampire(I see Sonia Braga here). Maria's feelings(yes, Vampires have feelings too!) are the strongest she has felt for a human in 200 years! But as Elise becomes aware of the grotesque lives(deaths?) these creatures lead, the suspense builds as to what will become of her. Will she give in to Maria and change over to become one of them and live eternally with her love, or will the blood loving Terence, suck her life's fluid till she's dead?
Reed is one of the best new horror writers around.I don't know how he keeps coming up with this stuff but keep em coming please.His descriptions of the places put you right there in the story. His tales of the Vampire lust and the victim's fate at their hand will make you cringe with the goriness of it all. He puts Elise in situations that will have your heart in your throat. The book is very well written and the story of the third vampire, Edward, paralells that of Elise's with every other chapter going back 60 years to his fateful meeting with Terrance. I also liked that these vampires were like no others, the story is a fresh take and surprises you at every turn. For more scare the bejuzzus out of you fare from Reed, try IM, a serial murder mystery involving gay men hooking up on line.
It's a real treat and highly recommended for goth and horror buffs.Even the cover art is scary. I had to keep it turned over on my nightstand, it kept looking at me! Not for wimps though. Some pretty graphic material of the vampire feasts and sexually as well(including quite errotic gay and lesbian themes).
In the Blood is much more than just a vampire novel that will hold the reader's interest. It becomes a philosophical and metaphysical exploration of the adventures of history, art, and sensuality, in the eyes and minds of three vampires who laugh at the Anne Rice vampire milieu. In the Blood plumbs depths not expected in the "ordinary" vampire novel, and by the final outstanding denouement in a story full of convolutions and unexpected surprises, I knew the book would linger long in memory. Rife with sensuality, both romantic and gory, In the Blood sizzles and steams, the fog of lust only temporarily obscuring the mystery and truths underlying the story.
Elise, an artist by day and an prostitute by night, meet up with a small family of vampires in modern Chicago. Terance, Edward, and Maria each want her for a different reason -- Terance as prey, Edward as a tool for salvation, and Maria as an eternal love. The story follows Elise through her involvement with these vampires until she finally forced to decide what she wants for the rest of her life and how much she would be willing to sacrifice for eternal youth. Through Elise's musings and decisions, we also see Edward's choices parallelled and how they affected his future.
Reed's vampires go beyond the stereotypical vampire-lover we see in so many novels. These vampires are very much hunters, but there is a lingering humanity about Maria and Edward that makes the reader sympathetic to them. Even in Terance's seeming absence of compassion or empathy, we see a vulnerability in him that is scarily attractive. These vampires share the same frailties and vulnerabilities that we usually only see in their mortal prey. In giving them a level of humanity, Reed makes the reader care about these vampires and see them with a depth and clarity that is missing in other novels of this genre.
Reed's writing is poetic yet graphically clear. He doesn't try to win the reader's sympathy by showing the vampire kills as romantic encounters of seduction. Terance, Edward, and Maria are preditors. We never forget that fact. However, we see in these preditors remnants of their lost humanity and it makes us feel for them.
The weaving of Elise's story and Edward's story is a wonderful exploration of the question "What would you give to be immortal?" Too often, this question is overlooked in vampire stories, yet it is the essential question to Reed's work. It explores not only the human condition but the artist's condition as well. The parallelling between the stories gives added depth to both characters and makes the reader see how one choice can change one's life forever.
Reed's novel is a fresh take on an old story. His style is straight-forward and concise. His descriptions are gritty and realistic -- there is no sugar-coating of the truth in this novel. There are some depictions of sexual situations, both heterosexual and homosexual, but they are done tastefully and are in no was gratuitous or just a ploy to sell more books.
In the Blood is a vampire story with a twist. It catches the reader from the first chapter and doesn't let go. It is a fast read that not only thrills us but also makes us think not only about the choices the characters make but also about the choices we would make in the same situation.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
In the blood takes vampires to a new level.Read more
Elise, once a good Jewish girl from Ohio, is now an artist by day and a hooker by night.Read more