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City of the Lost

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  413 ratings  ·  77 reviews
Returning as a zombie after being bumped off by a rival crime boss, Joe Sunday tries to locate a talisman that can grant immortality before every other thug in Los Angeles can find it.
Paperback, 224 pages
Published January 3rd 2012 by DAW (first published January 1st 2012)
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Average rating 3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  413 ratings  ·  77 reviews

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Dan Schwent
A job to steal a precious stone goes wrong and a thug named Joe Sunday is murdered. Now Joe's a zombie with a craving for human flesh and everyone in town is after the stone. Is there anyone Joe can trust and can he find the stone before a centuries-old madman uses it to become immortal?

Right out of the box, I have to say that this book is pure fun. While I'm giving it the same rating as Winter's Bone, it in no way is as well written or powerful. That being said, here we go!
Nov 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of urban fantasy and Guy Ritchie films
Recommended to Katy by: Goodreads First Reads
Shelves: first-reads-book
Please note: Originally read in Dec. 2011; updating the review to add a disclosure

Disclosure: I received this book through the Goodreads First Reads program in exchange for a review.

My Synopsis: Joe Sunday is a henchman and a thug – he’s worked for the same guy for 20 years and enjoys his work, for the most part. Then his friend and co-thug Julio has a breakdown – goes bughouse in a bar, leaving Joe to pick up the pieces of a job left undone. Joe has to go kill a man and steal a gem from him for his bo/>My/>:
Qwill / The Qwillery
Jan 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Take a shot of noir, a shot of supernatural, a shot of mystery, add a dash of levity. Shake. Serve neat and you've got City of the Lost, Stephen Blackmoore's exciting debut novel.

I completely enjoyed City of the Lost. Joe Sunday, the 'hero' is a thug. No two ways about it. But he's a thug with a heart, more or less. When he gets caught up in supernatural shenanigans because of his boss, Simon, things really go sideways for him. He's turned into a sentient zombie...with an expiration
Josh Stallings
Mar 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Zombies, noir, shades of Casa Blanca? How in the name of all that is holy can the this wild stew work. Well, quite well thank you very much. In the hands of Stephen Blackmoore not only does it work, it is a stunning novel. If this is Blackmoore's first novel, whatch the hell out, and wait to see what he does next. I, a firm hater of all things zombie have found after reading City Of The Lost that I needed a fix, so whilst I await his next book I have taken up watching Walking Dead. So to sum up ...more
Joshua Palmatier
Jan 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is the debut novel for Stephen Blackmoore and I dare say it won't be his last. City of the Lost is being described a detective noir with zombies by some. I haven't read much noir detective fiction, so I can't and won't on whether it fits that bill, but I can comment on it as an urban fantasy with a rather hardcore "detective" as the main character . . . who just happens to become a zombie.

The premise is that Joe Sunday is a thug, hired to break legs for his mobster/hoodster boss, Si
Dec 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
I didn't realize I had been waiting for this book- a fresh new take on Paranormal Noir. A zombie crime novel with fascinating characters and a brilliantly written plot. This plot jumps up and down- so action packed, there isn't a dull moment. I dove straight into this novel and didn't let up until I finished. So much fun. The quick, witty dialogue added to the awesomeness. This is a super fast read too at only 224 pages.

I love anti-hero Joe Sunday. Even his name sings to me. Joe is s
Georgiann Hennelly
Dec 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Joe Sunday is a thug , an enforcer. When his partner is sent to kill a mysterious new business partner, and Julio his partner goes all bug house in a bar. After seeing Giovanni, Joe calls his boss to tell him what happened. Joe is murdered and brought back to a twisted half life.And he,s stuck in the middle of a race to find the ancient stone that has the power to grant immortality. With the stone he may live forever without it he,s just another rotting corpse. Everyone has a stake from a psycho ...more
Feb 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
It's not easy to do classic Chandler/Hammett hard-boiled in a contemporary setting. All the trappings are so familiar that if the author is not careful, it will fall into parody. That's not something CITY OF THE LOST has to worry about. While it plays out in classic form, Blackmoore is original enough to give it a much-needed twist.

And what a twist. The detective is essentially a zombie, there is a witch, vampires, and even a strange toothy little thing on a leash. Yet for all that l
Aug 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I started reading this book and then life got in the way after 30 or so pages and I didn't pick it up again for over a month. But that is nothing against the writing, that's just points against my crappy life. The most important thing here is that I picked it back up and finished. After finishing it, I tweeted to Mr. Blackmoore and told him that I need more Joe Sunday.

Joe Sunday is not your average zombie. Instead of brains, he eats hearts to survive and keep from falling apart. He'l
Dec 12, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: jan-2012
I'll start off by saying that I won this book through Goodreads First Reads and although it isn't for the light-hearted or weak-stomached, it was definitely an interesting book to read. I've read other zombie books, but what I liked most about this one is that it is written through the eyes of the zombie. I'm sure there are other books out there that the point-of-view is the zombies; I just haven't read them. There are quite a lot (and I mean A LOT) of curse words, so if you're against cussing y ...more
David Ketelsen
Nov 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I had trouble sleeping and at 4am picked up this book and started reading it. I soon forgot all about sleeping. The noir-ish tone of the book is quite entertaining. I'm really looking forward to getting back to reading this when I get home from work.

I finished reading City of the Lost this morning before work. I loved the book. Through the use of short declarative sentences, often missing prepositions, Blackmoore conveys the atmosphere of desperation his main character, Joe Sunday, e
Dec 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Freaking fabulous!!!! I loved every minute of it, even when the main character goes all zombie badass!! I can't wait to see if the author decides to continue the saga of Joe Sunday. I want it, I need it, I gotta have more Joe Sunday.

I won this book via the Goodreads First Reads giveaway.
Paul Ataua
Dec 20, 2018 rated it liked it
A zombie crime novel? Yep, and with just a little bit of the supernatural thrown in. The mildly entertaining and mildly humorous “City of the Lost” is nothing to text home about, but certainly fills a hole when you have a couple of hours to kill.
Kristin  (MyBookishWays Reviews)
You may also read my review here:

Whew! Lemme tell ya, if you’re in the mood for some down and dirty noir action with your supernatural fun, City of the Lost is where it’s at! Joe Sunday is your all around tough-as-nails L. A. enforcer who knocks heads and makes a pretty good living at it. All of this comes to a rather abrupt hault when his main employer hires him to knock off someone that is way off the normal meter. When he witnesses his best friend and co-worker kill himself (in a ra
Kathy (Kindle-aholic)
Jan 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: uf
Set in a gritty world populated by even grittier characters, I really enjoyed this read. Most of the zombie books I've read are from the perspective of the people fighting/running from/reporting on the shambling zombie hordes, but in those books I'm less interested in the zombies as characters, more the humans fighting to survive. There have been a few books I've read from the zombie's perspective and treading that fine line between grossing you out and making you sympathize and root for the cha ...more
A.T. Hicks
Pulp has always been one of my favorite genres. It allows writers to blend varied ideas and genres into one haywire, slightly weird, perhaps even bizarre novel. This is one of those books.

The language in City of the Lost is right up my alley: tawdry and peppered with a delicious amount of gratuitous cursing. The characters jump off the pages and are as varied as they are unexpected. You have witches and warlocks and demons and of course, the prerequisite sex pot in the form of a lovely, if mysterious, blue-e
Nov 11, 2011 rated it liked it
I recieved this book free as a Goodreads First Reads.

Joe Sunday is an enforcer for a local crime boss who dies and gets brought back as an experiment by an old enemy of his crime boss. Now, everyone is after him & the powerful stone that brought him back. What follows is a crazy ride of death, odd characters and deception.

I got this book right in the middle of the holiday season. Since I work retail, it was a slow go to get the book done - not the book's fault, but my
Nov 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
“So this is what a horror movie looks like from the inside.” This single thought from Joe Sunday is the perfect one line description of City of the Lost...only without all the panic and tears. Joe is a thug and while most stories show a transformation of the main character to a better human being, this isn’t about that. Although later on Joe does seem to show a few positive intentions. What matters is that he is dead, and not happy about it. There is a stone out there somewhere and now Joe need ...more
Nov 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Stephen Blackmoore has given me, yes me, a character I can enjoy and follow for a very long time. Joe Sunday, a mob enforcer made dead; yes dead, by the hands of another crazy dead man. Wait, What? This story is nuts and one hell of a wild ride. My lord, you have crazed zombies, death around every corner, a magic stone, drink serving demons, a witch, wild magic and immortals. (Well, to an extent maybe.) This is not a hint into certain characters within the story, oh no. It’s simply a question th ...more
Laurie K
Apr 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Joe Sunday is an enforcer for a Los Angeles crime boss when he's given an assignment to steal a highly coveted magical stone. That job turns out to be the death of him. After he realizes he's not a breather anymore, he finds that death is just the beginning of his problems. Joe's never been big on the whole thinking for himself thing and is comfortable just following orders. When it turns out that he needs that stone desperately to keep from falling apart - literally - he's on his own and can't ...more
Steve Weddle
Mar 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book is chock-full of so many fantastic characters, it's tough to know where to start.

Tough-guy Joe Saturday finds himself kinda undead, or at least unkillable, and in the middle of a centuries-long quest for a magical stone. If this were all there were to the book, it would be a matinee of great fun, maybe one of those odd movies on the sci-fi channel every so often. But this book is so much more than that -- thanks to a well developed and detailed cast of characters -- the coo
Oct 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
2.5 to 3 stars. Not as good as his later books set in the same, um, setting (the Eric Carter books). Don't feel I would have missed anything by foregoing this one. Reminded me in some ways of - but lacking in comparison to - Charlie Huston's Joe Pitt books.
Amanda Wiley
Nov 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful change of pace to the books I normally read. Action packed and excitement the whole way through!
May 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
You’re not supposed to judge a book by it’s cover, but there’s no denying that a good cover is a sure fire attention getter. Stephen Blackmoore must understand this, which is why his first novel “City of the Lost” has a great cover. It’s done by one of my favorite comic artists working today, Sean Phillips. It features a bad ass looking guy with a smoking hole in his chest who is smoking a cigarette on an ominous, but sun drenched LA street. Fans of Phillips work with Ed Brubaker on the current ...more
Sabrina Ogden
Aug 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I've never met a zombie that I didn’t like.

That is so not true. Zombies are gross, disgusting. They stink like rotten meat baking in the desert sun, and they’re always oozing all kinds of bodily fluids while dripping flesh all over the freakin’ place.

I’ve never met a zombie that didn’t make me puke… would be more accurate.

Well, not until I met Joe Sunday, that is!

One look at the cover for City Of The Lost and I knew, just knew, that I was going to
Elizabeth A.
Jan 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Joe Sunday always figured his life would end violently. After all, when your occupation is thug for hire to a mid-level mafioso things tend to get pretty nasty at times, even if you are working the glamour filled streets of L.A., not the mean streets of New York or Chicago.

What he couldn’t possibly have realized, however, was that when he finally was killed, well, that he wouldn’t stay dead.

Sunday does realize something is very wrong with his latest assignment, especially
Mar 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
City of the Lost
By Stephen Blackmoore
Publisher: Daw Books
Published In: New York City, NY, USA
Date: 2012
Pgs: 217


A thug, a leg breaker, this is the hero. He’s caught up in something way beyond his ken and far away from his normal life. His partner gets sent out on a job to take care of some things for their boss. An easy job turned bad and his partner, his friend got killed. Only a day later, when he calls hi
Epheros Aldor
Aug 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
In Stephen Blackmoore’s City of the Lost, we have a gritty, noir-inspired tale set in modern Los Angeles. Joe Sunday is a common thug for hire who gets sent on a job that gets him killed. Fortunately the story doesn’t end there. The target brings Joe back, into a sort of zombie-ish unlife which brings Joe face to face with the hidden underworld of the City of Angels’ magic population; vampire drug addicts, ghosts, demons and devils, and wizards and witches.

The story weaves several pe
Sep 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: urban-fantasy, horror
I loved this book. I've had it on my TBR list for quite a while, and finally picked it up last week. The plan was not to read it immediately -- I was in the middle of reading something else at the time. But I figured it couldn't hurt to skim the first page...

And the next thing I knew, I was on page 40 and I didn't want to put the damn thing down.

I didn't so much read this book as ingest it, savouring every page. It's bloody and gore-infested and violent, full of visceral
Feb 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: to-read-2013
City of the Lost
By Stephen Blackmoore

I hate reading reviews with spoilers, so I strive to avoid them in my writing. There are plenty of other reviews out there that will outline the entire book if that's what you're looking for.

Things go to hell fast for Joe Sunday and there's a landslide following him down. Everyone has an angle, everyone wants something, and he knows it. The question is, who will screw him the least?

Note: if you gross out/get of
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Stephen Blackmoore is the author of the noir / urban fantasy Eric Carter series (DEAD THINGS, BROKEN SOULS, HUNGRY GHOSTS, and FIRE SEASON), about a necromancer in modern-day Los Angeles.

You can find him online at, or follow him on Twitter at @sblackmoore.