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Late Bite

(Toronto Chronicles #1)

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  54 ratings  ·  39 reviews
What would happen if a real vampire were captured in Toronto. In Canada he wouldn't be decapitated or have a stake driven through his heart. He would receive benefit of the law. And that's what happens to Dragul Mangorian who appears to be the sole-surviving member of a sub-species of homo sapiens that through evolution is forced to feed on human blood. His trial creates a ...more
Paperback, 1 paperback, 229 pages
Published September 20th 2014 by Poison Pine Books (first published April 15th 2014)
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Average rating 4.11  · 
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Alex ☣ Deranged KittyCat ☣

John Matsui got me! He really fooled me. I was sure this was a 3 stars read.

But let's start at the beginning. Synopsis:
In a world where the Kardashians are famous for being famous and Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is famous for being - well, Rob Ford, what would happen if the world discovered someone who was a real vampire?
Rather than staying hidden and being hunted down by the torch-bearing hordes, he'd become a media sensation, especially when the world learns he is the last of his breed.
Jun 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Just when you think you've just been reading a truly fascinating and creative courtroom drama including a vampire with some rather unique abilities to wipe away all the bad things that happen to his victims for the price of a little blood, as the ultimate psychologist, we then get a fun and funny look at his life as a celebrity. Doesn't that sound fun? Like a better, more streamlined and interesting version of Lestat?

But wait! All those victims from the courtroom from years ago are being murdere
joyce g
An interesting upside down take on a vampire story.
Oct 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
To be honest, I don't read many horror stories, but this one really stood out to me. The title of the book attracted me as I wondered how a TV talk show star could be intertwined with a killer. I have also enjoyed vampire stories for a long time. I enjoy real vampire stories and I felt that this author did a good job with making this story a real horror story. The writing style was great and I felt like it fit the horror theme. Loved the usage of Italics. I would say that in my honest opinion, t ...more
A.H. Richards
Sep 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Late Bite is a clever, twisted tale about the criminal events surrounding an eerily likeable blood-sucker, Dragul Mangorian and his initially hapless lawyer, Al Hamblyn, charged with defending Dragul the monster against multiple charges of assault and, well, blood drinking from unwilling victims.
Or are they unwilling? Dragul, at six-foot-six, yellow-eyed, fanged and clawed, and captured in a sewer that smells as bad as his breath, is the last person anyone sane would trust. And yet, when he tell
Ivana Books Are Magic
Oct 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Well, this was quite a ride! A very exciting and though provoking reading, one that kept getting better with every page, right up to the very satisfying and dramatic end. It is certainly a very interesting and original take on the vampire genre, albeit this is not the first novel where I came across an attempt to scientifically explain the origin of vampire. George R.R. Martin in his Fevre Dream tried to do the same, by portraying the vampires as a separate species. This novel goes a step furthe ...more
Dawn Dolly
Sep 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Late Bite: TV Talk Show Star or Killer? has been one of the best horror novels I've read in a long time. This book follows lawyer, Al Hamblyn, as he must overcome his fears and stand as a defense lawyer for Dragul Mangorian- a vampire. A real vampire. There are a lot of prosecutors who want Dragul to lose in the name of the justice system, and they have a lot of evidence to prove his guilt. Al Hamblyn must defend a client that most people wouldn't dare stand up for.

This book is intense right fr
Read to fill the “Vampires” square of my 2017 Halloween Bingo card.

I love a good vampire yarn and I was pleasantly surprised to find one written by a fellow Canadian. My library didn’t have it, it didn’t appear to be available for interlibrary loan, so I took the unusual step of buying it. I won’t say that I’m disappointed, but I will say that I won’t be purchasing the next two volumes of the series.

Dragul Mangorian isn’t your garden variety vampire—in Matsui’s world, vampires are a parallel bra
ashley  lloyd spanton
Nov 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Originally posted on

I’ve long since tired of the vampire craze, but I’m a sucker (get it!) for a witty pitch and clever concepts, so when John Matsui reached out to us with his book Late Bite, I couldn’t resist. Not to mention it’s based in my city Toronto – represent! #the6ix

There are a lot of things I loved about this book, things that crushed my presumptions and brought new life to an otherwise dead (or undead?) topic. First off, I was surprised that the narrator was not t
Tony Drummond
Sep 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
Late Bite works on a simple question - what would happen if a vampire lived in modern society?

The first half of the book is the story of the vampire's trial. As we already know the jury's verdict (from the books back cover and early chapters) the normal courtroom tension is missing. Instead we explore various moral and legal issues ranging from whether a vampire is a human to whether a vampire can legally/ethically take blood from another person.

The second half is more action packed as we follo
A.J. Converse
Oct 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A vampire type assailant is captured by the police and a struggling, second class lawyer gets the call to represent him. The Vampire, one Dragul Mangorian, is the last of his species and points out that he is not the vampire of legends.
A trial ensues that fans of Perry Mason will appreciate. The outcome is not quite as surprising as it appears that it will be when the trial ensues.
More killings begin and the twisted story plunges on. A Russian thug and girlhood friend of the lawyer’s ex-wife go
R Davis
Nov 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
John Matsui has infiltrated the vampire genre with his own unique imaginative twist and created a legal thriller that is tastefully suspenseful keeping the most discerning reader glued to each and every page.

After several years of vampire overload one would think there is literally nothing else to write about until Late Bate, and we see there is still a vampire book worth reading. The plot is creative and seamless, the characters well developed and the reader is artfully lead in one direction o
Phillip III
Sep 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was an interesting vampire novel. well written, and different. I read it in one sitting. The courtroom scenes are done well, too.

The creative thought in the vampire's history is clever, detailed and intriguing. a cool concept.

I will read the next in the trilogy.

Phillip Tomasso
Sep 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-star, paranormal
An enjoyable, well written and unusual book.
Part courtroom drama, part action story, all vampire novel.
With plenty of bite (pun intended) and enough twists to keep you reading.
I'm looking forward to the followup books

Thank you to the author, John Matsui, for sending me an ecopy of this book.
Sep 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I won this book in a Goodreads first-reads contest.

This book has a unique and refreshing take on the vampire and mystery genres. It had interesting characters and a suspenseful/intense plot with lots of twists and turns and unexpected moments.
Mar 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
At first I thought I had the ending guessed. Then I continued to read and quickly realized I was wrong.
It was a great read, kept me guessing. I will be looking for the rest of the series and telling other friends about it.
Always happy to support a local and Canadian author.
Apr 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
A very quick, fun read with a very interesting ending. I read this in about a day. I really look forward to the rest of this series.
Jul 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
I won a copy of this book and was pleasantly surprised. Loved the twist at the end. I never saw it coming!!
Cori Dyson
Dec 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who like sci-fi/fantasy
Shelves: fantasy, favorites
I received a copy of the second edition in exchange for an honest review.

I Respectfully Disagree with the Author on Genre

Late Bite is a book that defies genres which the author, John Matsui, would easily agree. It is listed in thriller and suspense sub-genres and on Goodreads, the author has described it as in the horror genre. While I do agree that it is a paranormal, fantasy, action and adventure, and possibly crime novel, it is not a thriller and certainly not a horror. Now I could discuss te
~Dani~ LazyTurtle's Books
I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

I’m not actually sure exactly what my issue with this book was. I started out pretty into it but I think it was a case of misplaced expectations. See, I went into this expecting a quirky story about how vampires are discovered to be real and the off-the-wall, ridiculous reactions of the public. Those were reactions were there but they weren’t the main focus of the book and what was there was pretty much exactly
Nov 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Each time I think the vampire genre is dead, a new author comes along to prove me wrong with a revival. Late Bite is a suspenseful mixture of thriller and horror, but also with pinch of humor. The first half presents the reader with a well-crafted legal thriller, albeit with a very unusual accused. After all charges are withdrawn, Dragul Mangorian starts his career as a late night talk show host. This short episode is the lightest part of the book and partly resembles a comedy. But shortly after ...more
Coreena McBurnie
Dec 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I didn't know what to expect when I picked up Late Bite -- I thought it would be a vampire horror story set in Toronto. And it is, kind of. But there is also more. There are two parts to Late Bite, there is the crime thriller court case part and the vampire on the loose in the city horror part.

Matsui creates a new and fascinating mythology around vampires, they are not undead monsters, but a distant branch of humanity called homo sanguinus. This was brilliant and fun. Dragul is a vampire caught
Christina B
Sep 14, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
*I received a copy of this book as part of goodreads First Reads giveaways*

Firstly, I just want to say, I've been in a reading slump these past 4ish months and that is why it took me so long to finish this book.

I really enjoyed this story, I know the area this book takes place in and I enjoyed reading about places I recognize. This is an interesting take on Vampires or Sanguinus as they are called. I enjoyed the characters and how they interacted, and the ending really grabbed my attention and m
Mar 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
I received this book in a Goodreads giveaway. Great read.
Mark Levandoski
Jul 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Very nice twist to the tale of these creatures.Interesting ending,can't wait for the follow-up.I receieved this book for free as a win in the Goodreads First Read contest.
Karen Barber
Mar 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting take on the vampire story, and not at all what I expected.
Al is a somewhat second-division lawyer. Bullied by peers and a grafter, he seems destined to be what is scathingly referred to as an ‘ambulance chaser’. Then he is asked to act as lawyer to a vampire.
When Al meets Dragul he is, like many, tainted by his preconceived notions of a vampire. Slowly, he gets to learn a little more of this character who’s presented sympathetically.
The majority of the book focuses on the case. We
Kristi Jones
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Vampires are my thing. Always have been, for most of my 50 years on this earth. Doesn't really matter if it's the original Dracula, courtesy of Bram Stoker, the Frank Langella tv movie sexpot version, the recent Luke Evans portrayal of the suffering vampire or.....dare I say it......the young adult "twinkly" Edward Cullen. I love em all! However, John's version of a bloodsucker is one I hadn't seen before. Not attractive to gaze upon (complete with icky breath), yet intelligent and even a bit sa ...more
Fangs for the Fantasy
Al Hamblyn is a lawyer on the edge of complete failure until he gets the strangest case of his career

A man has been arrested for a series of attacks. Attacks in which he drunk blood

He is representing a vampire on trial – and trying to prove this revelation not guilty in the middle of a media storm.

This book brings us a court case with a vampire accused of assault and drinking blood

That alone is an excellent twist as we see the whole concept of vampirism and drinking blood actually being out on t
Ben Taylor
Jan 08, 2016 rated it liked it
"Late Bite" is centered on a fascinating premise and is told from an equally-fascinating point of view, but the story's narration, structure and organization make it difficult for the concept to reach its full potential. Matsui's primary characters, a public defender and a vampire-esque person accused of several crimes, lead readers on a well-conceived story, beginning when the accused is taken into custody and when the attorney meets him in his holding cell. For fear of spoliers, I'll leave off ...more
Jessica Bronder
Nov 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Dragul Mangorian is found in the sewers of Toranto. Dragul is the last of the branch off of homo sapiens called homo sanguinis and survives by drinking the blood of homo sapiens. He is taken to court and has his attorney, Al Hamblyn has to fight for Dragul to be treated as an equal. Yes, he does drink blood to survive but he takes away the bad memories and leaves the victim better off.

This court room drama leads Dragul to become a late night talk show host. But this is just the beginning. Those
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John Matsui was an award-winning journalist and an innovative public relations consultant. Now he's focused his inventiveness to create tension and action filled thrillers.
John's novels - Late Bite and Gravity Games are available on and most mainstream international sites Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, iTunes books, etc. His third horror thriller, Lycanthrope Rising, is availabl

Other books in the series

Toronto Chronicles (2 books)
  • Lycanthrope Rising (The Toronto Vampire Chronicles #2)

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