Graveyard Shift by Michael F. Haspil

graveyardI recently finished Graveyard Shift and thought it made a good start to a new supernatural detective style series.  I liked the concept.  A world in which vampires exist and have announced their existence to the public and with the help of synthetic blood are living amicably amongst us.  Supposedly – well, on the face of it.  Underneath the surface, a simple scratch will reveal not so deeply hidden tensions.  Vampires are predators, they’ve lived in the shadows for many moons, hunting their prey at night and enjoying the thrill of the chase and the terror that ensues.  Drinking luke-warm blood out of a bottle doesn’t really hold quite the same appeal to them as stalking a near petrified victim.  On the other hand this is a new revelation and humans also are not completely happy with the discovery that these imaginary creatures they’ve contemplated for years are actually real.  Many have taken to avoiding the night where possible, except the vampire wannabes of course who dress the part hoping for the immortal life that vampirism promises.  With the rise in crime the tensions run deep and it’s only a matter of time before chaos ensues.

Now, with the existence of vampires comes a new wave of crime, crime that needs it’s own nocturnal police force and so as the story begins we make the introduction of ‘Alex Menkaure, former pharaoh and mummy, and his vampire partner, Marcus, who was born in ancient Rome’ as they go in hot pursuit of their latest job, a vampire in a blood frenzy – it doesn’t sound pretty because it isn’t pretty.  Now, at first, this random attack appears to be a one off however it soon becomes apparent that isn’t the case.  At the same time there are a number of human, vigilante style attacks taking place which involves the death of a number of vampires and these crimes together with a spate of missing people and an influx of illegal blood and meat and you have a number of coincidences that are anything but coincidental.

What did I enjoy about Graveyard Shift in particular.  It’s a gritty, fast paced supernatural detective story.  There is plenty of action here and none of it is pedestrian or humdrum.  The crimes here all involve supernatural pursuits and lets just be honest, if vampires exist then it surely isn’t a surprise to find out that other supernaturals also walk the earth.  Set in Miami the story has an ‘underworld’ feel.  There are seedy clubs and underhand transactions that take place in dark alleys.  There is also a certain level of brutality which was to be expected in this sort of supernatural story – there are no sparkly vampires here and blood is definitely on the menu.  On top of that there is a particularly grim market that trades in blood and meat products – a particularly unsavoury aspect to the supernatural phenomena.

The main characters are clearly Marcus and Alex – although I suspect that they might have an addition to their number after this book.  I did like these two.  On balance, at the moment, I think Marcus is probably my favourite character, which is a little unusual in that I feel this is more Alex’s show.  At the moment I don’t have a real handle on Alex but hopefully that will develop, Marcus on the other hand, being a vampire, feels already well known – and I mean the in a good way not as a criticism – I simply think this is why I was able to form more of an attachment to him – plus I liked that he’s this ancient creature who oozes menace and commands respect.

In terms of criticism.  Well, I don’t think this particularly brought too much new to the table – other than Alex being a mummy and there’s still a lot of learn in that respect.  I think there’s a first book in series feel in that there isn’t a lot of history involved with either of the two characters, but I suspect that’s a definite ploy and more will probably be forthcoming in future stories but for the moment the characters need some development.  It has a feel as though the author is waiting to reveal something and I look forward to reading more to see what surprises are in store.

All in all an entertaining read and a world that is just waiting to be built upon.

I received a copy of Graveyard Shift from the publisher through Netgalley for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.


7 Responses to “Graveyard Shift by Michael F. Haspil”

  1. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    I agree with you – nothing TOO new, but I had a lot of fun regardless, and sometimes that’s all that matters. I’m looking forward to the story and characters being developed further, and I think I read somewhere that the author already has ideas for six books planned. I thought that was great news!

    • @lynnsbooks

      Woah – six books, excellent news. I would definitely say with experience of reading series that this will probably grow into something excellent and this is a really good start in that respect. Six books planned – that really is impressive.
      Lynn 😀

  2. sjhigbee

    I love the sound of a supernatural detective story – a great review, Lynn. Thank you:)

    • @lynnsbooks

      I really hope this is going to be a great new series. It’s got this whole seedy vampire vibe totally nailed and the two main characters are easy to get on with.
      Lynn 😀

  3. maddalena@spaceandsorcery

    What more could I ask from a book than a collection of elements I love? This novel seems to have it all: supernatural and horror elements, a police whodunit with two very different cops (a vampire AND a mummy? I love that 😀 ), and the hunt for a serial killer. Even if it uses familiar themes, it sounds like a story I could love.
    Thanks for sharing!

    • @lynnsbooks

      I think this is a really good start. I had some issues but in terms of a first book in series nothing that would deter me from continuing.
      Lynn 😀

  4. July: My Month in Review | Books and travelling with Lynn

    […] Graveyard Shift by Michael F Haspil […]

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