I wrote about Grady Hendrix’s Paperbacks from Hell almost four years ago. There are now some reprints of horror paperbacks as a result of that book. Valancourt Books started a Paperbacks from Hell reprint series.
I had heard about T. Chris Martindale’s Nightblood and had planned on ordering it. I stopped at the local Barnes & Noble bookstore on Halloween day and they had a Paperbacks from Hell display. I saw Nightblood and snatched it up.
I got around to it this past weekend and I could not put it down. A summary description would be Solomon Kane arrives in Salem’s Lot with Uzi submachine guns.
I enjoy a good action horror novel – Robert McCammon’s They Thirst and the first few of Brian Lumley’s Necroscope books come to minds. Thrills n’ chills.
Chris Stiles is a Vietnam vet who was a more than proficient infantryman. Some supernatural entity tore apart his brother in Central Park. His brother’s ghost comes to Stiles periodically directing him where there is evil. Stiles has his van with Uzi submachine guns, a Heckler & Koch carbine, a brace of Ruger pistols, a butterfly knife, and C-4 explosive.
This time Chris Stiles is directed to a small town in Indiana that is a little under a thousand people. A mansion outside of town has stories about evil happenings. A couple of kids accidentally release a vampire from his basement crypt on a dare to spend the night in the mansion. Stiles arrives in time to save them thinking he killed the vampire. In Nightblood, the average vampire can have an arm blown off or eye shot out and they can’t regenerate them. Let them flop around and sunrise will do the rest.
In this case, Sebastian Danner is not a normal vampire, which has zombie like characteristics. Danner made a deal with the Devil for immortality and power and can regenerate. Danner is busily sucking the blood out of just about anyone and turning into zombie vampires. The town is overrun with vampires before you know it. The vampires appear to those they knew and ask to be let inside. It is very effective.
The surviving humans band together making shot gun shells with silver pellets and some improvised explosives. One WW2 vet uses a samurai sword he brought back from Okinawa. Faith plays a part. A religious women protects an old folks boarding house with various religious items placed in windows and entrances.
Nightblood is an 80s action flick with horror. Die Hard meets Fright Night. Now I want to check out T. Chris Martindale’s other novels.
You know what else is great about this reprint. It is an actual mass market paperback, they it was meant to be, not a trade paperback.