Blood Hunt & Blood Links

Blood Hunt & Blood Links
Review by Christine Hawkins, submitted on 28-Oct-2001

Two of my favourite vampire books are Blood Hunt (Tor 1987) and Blood Links (Tor 1988), both by Lee Killough. They deal with fiction's (possible) first vampire cop: Garreth Mikaelian, homicide detective with the San Francisco PD.

In the first of these (Blood Hunt) the luckless Mikaelian is assigned to investigate the murder of a man who has been found floating in San Francisco bay. But the victim has been not drowned, nor, in spite of appearances, died of a broken neck. Instead he seems to have been drained of blood, and has two tiny puncture marks on the side of his throat.

Mikaelian's investigations lead him to a red-haired nightclub singer named Lane Barber. Unfortunately for him, she takes him for a short walk down a dark alley - and he wakes up in a cabinet in the city morgue with an unaccountable thirst for people's blood. The rest of the novel is involved with search Mikaelian's search for Barber, which eventually leads him to the small town in Kansas where she was born.

Blood Links, the sequel, sees Mikaelian back in San Francisco, this time involved in a hunt for a serial killer. Unfortunately, the killer seems to have a pechant for killing vampires and their human friends - and Mikaelian doesn't dare tell his old colleagues what he knows. Because they realise he is holding something back, he becomes the chief suspect in the case!

Although the "vampire cop" has become somewhat of a cliche, it is worth noting that these books are early (if not the first) example of the type. (Killough claims that she had trouble in publishing Blood Hunt because her publisher didn't know in what genre to class it!) It also seems to have been a bit of a trendsetter. There are notable resemblences, for instance, between Killough's novels and "Forever Knight" - among which one of the more minor is the fact that both heroes keep containers of cow's blood in their fridge!

Much of the plot of the first book is driven by the fact that Mikaelian didn't get an owners manual with his new fangs. Mikaelian must find out how to survive as a vampire by himself - not an easy task for a man whose chief source of information is late night movies.

Mikaelian also has problems because (unlike most vampires) he does not have a private source of wealth. In addition he has to cope with numerous concerned relatives, friends and colleagues, who can't understand his changed behavior.

Lee Killough has a good "feel" for her subjects, cops as well as vampires. Mikaelian may make errors in police procedure, but Killough knows what she is doing. The best thing about these books, however, is the characters. In addition to Garreth Mikaelian himself, who comes across as a warm person with a wry sense of humour, there are a number of strong female characters in both Blood Hunt and Blood Links. Included amongst these is Mikaelian's very Irish "Grandma Doyle" who has "Feelings" and Irina, the Russian vampire with a colourful past who "made" Lane Barber.

If you are looking for horror or an erotic charge, don't bother with these books. On the other hand, if you want an entertaining vampire mystery with interesting characters, I highly recommend them.

Fanged Films

From the Library

As the 20th century evolved, rational man turned to science to explain mythology that had pervaded for thousands of years. How could a man be mistaken for a vampire? How could someone appear to have been the victim of a vampire attack? Science, in time, came back with answers that may surprise you.Anemia
A million fancies strike you when you hear the name: Nosferatu!N O S F E R A T Udoes not die!What do you expect of the first showing of this great work?Aren't you afraid? - Men must die. But legend has it that a vampire, Nosferatu, 'der Untote' (the Undead), lives on men's blood! You want to see a symphony of horror? You may expect more. Be careful. Nosferatu is not just fun, not something to be taken lightly. Once more: beware.- Publicity for Nosferatu in the German magazine Buhne und Film, 1922  

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