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Already Dead (Joe Pitt #1)

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  8,775 Ratings  ·  669 Reviews
Those stories you hear? The ones about things that only come out at night? Things that feed on blood, feed on us? Got news for you: they’re true. Only it’s not like the movies or old man Stoker’s storybook. It’s worse. Especially if you happen to be one of them. Just ask Joe Pitt.

There’s a shambler on the loose. Some fool who got himself infected with a flesh-eating bacte
Kindle Edition, 290 pages
Published December 18th 2007 by Del Rey (first published December 27th 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Sep 04, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of UF detective noir
I have a special fondness in my heart for NYC. The Met. The Chinese food. The Strand. The people zoo. Especially the people zoo--every time I go, I'm reminded of Whoopie Goldberg in Jumpin' Jack Flash saying, "There's some funky lookin' people in New York." I don't often see the NY Huston writes about. It's there, in the skinny dude doing junkie tai chi on the corner, and in the random clothing nests I might see stashed under a bench. I've been to the kiddie parks with kiddies in tow, but I conf ...more
Oct 16, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016

In the footsteps of Jim Butcher and his wizard detective Harry Dresden the field of supernatural investigators is getting quite crowded. If you want to stand out, to get noticed, you need an angle, a marketing asset. Charlie Huston has the writing skills to make the grade, but I am only half-sold on his approach. It seems to rely heavily on ultra-violent, explicit gore-fest and some heavy swearing, especially in the first chapters. The horror elements do help in keeping the reader glued to the p
I'm a man, does things, gets things done. I'm a handyman. Someone has a problem they maybe call me and I maybe help to take care of the problem.

Joe Pitt is not a detective. He has no license or even an office. Yet when somebody needs someone found, he's the guy for the job.

A woman is going to call you today with a problem. You will offer her your assistance. Whatever it is she asks of you, you shall do it. Efficiently and, need I say it, discreetly. Yes?

Yet another noir story revolving around th
Jan 31, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to brian by: donald
1977. NYC. CBGBs. ramones on stage. some suit offers simon twenty bucks to let him suck his dick. sure: a mouth’s a mouth. simon pops off, and takes another twenty to give the guy a handjob. guy pushes his face into simon’s neck, bares his fangs, and – bam! – instavamp.

let that scene serve as a microcosm of this sloppy pulpy drunken joyride of a book: it’s kinda absurd having all this happen at the place in the year seeing the band... but it’s also kinda so fucked up and fun we ignore the autho
Dec 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Already Dead is a rollicking, no-holds-barred film noir vampire pastiche. Main protagonist Joe Pitt is a Mike Hammer with fangs and no suntan. As low vamp on the totem pole, Pitt gets it from all sides of the undead crime underground. Picking no side and forced to do favors here and there for the various vampire factions just to survive, he is pushed into a job to find a missing girl which develops into a complex scheme that would make Phillip Marlow's head spin. The combination of vampire and g ...more
Feb 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: vampire fans
Shelves: urban-paranormal
I liked this book. It was a refreshing change of pace from the "female protagonist/romance" vampire thing that has become a cliche of the vampire novel. It was gritty and real, like a hard-boiled detective story from the 30's.
Rebecca McNutt
Unfortunately this generic vampire novel just didn't seem memorable to me. There are only a few vampire books I actually like, and most others in the sub-genre seem way too focused on gory shock value, pretentious characters and excessive blood. It's predictable, it's typical, it's boring, and this book is no exception.
Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder*
I hate to say it, but I'm abandoning at 47%. I've tried, I really have, but this book and writing style just isn't for me. I was excited to read it for awhile too - love gritty, dark urban stories, enjoy hard-boiled detectives, anything with vampires - but the writing style has no chemistry with me. It's present tense, chopping, and a little dry. Dialogue has no quotations. The main character is completely unsympathetic - perhaps he does things for the 'right' reasons but he doesn't seem to care ...more
This was really fun! I like these genre-twisting books. This one is about a guy who works for the Vampyre clans of NYC. These clans are usually competing groups who control the paranormal interests of Manhattan and greater NYC. One clan, The Coalition, controls the area above 14th street, up past Central Park, to around 116th street. Another clan, The Society, runs the area below 14th with other pockets of smaller clans, as well, through out Manhattan and the outer Burroughs. These clans are com ...more
Anna  (Bananas!)
The best way to describe this book-violent and hilarious vampire noir.

A bunch of rival vampire clans fight over NYC like (literally) blood-hungry gangs. Each clan has its own shady agenda, and Joe Pitt is a free agent who frequently finds himself tangled up in their drama. He takes on odd jobs with the clans to keep the cash and blood flowing in, but only runs into more trouble at every turn. This book focuses on Joe looking for a lost girl and also the origin of a bunch of zombies (shamblers,
Richard Derus
Rating: 3.5* of five

What a ride...really, noir for the new millennium is a fair description of the book, the character, the setting and set-up for the series.

Hyper-violent, and not for the squeamish. Lots of yech-ptui sexual deviance. Plenty of "Reservoir Dogs"-style torture and cruelty.

In the end, I think it's got something fresh to say about the evergreen plot device of hardboiled dick with a heart of gold, a strong girlfriend whose very existence causes him joy, and clients he not only can't
Jan 07, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of seriously dark, gritty, violent noir who won't mind the style
Recommended to Carly by: apparent similarities with Felix Castor
**edited 11/28/13

There's a certain stereotype about the streets of New York City. To non-City-dwellers, the phrase can conjure a claustrophobic skyline blocked with lowering buildings and blinding lights, anonymous figures studiously avoiding eye contact as they rush past each other on the sidewalks, seething masses of pedestrians pouring onto the streets at random to the furious honks of stultified drivers, and snobby natives glaring at gaping tourists. Basically, the stereotyped New York is a
Wil Wheaton
May 15, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dark-fantasy, noir, horror
Huston brings his signature noir style to a dark, urban fantasy Manhattan where the protagonist is a vampire.

I liked the first half of the book better than the second, mostly because I found one of the characters (a teenage girl) speaking in a voice that didn't sound as authentic as the rest of Huston's characters. Everything else in the book is so well-crafted and so interesting, it was very jarring to me.

I wasn't surprised very often, maybe because I read so much Huston I can sense when things
Jamie Collins
Nov 27, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jamie by: Donald Powell
This was my first Charlie Huston novel, and I really enjoyed it despite a few serious flaws. It's grittier than my usual thing, but I liked the take on vampirism and the writing is very good. Thanks for the rec, Donald!

The flaws:
1. I've seen the plot a dozen times: a low-life detective is sent to find a rich girl who went slumming and got in over her head.
2. Not once, but twice the bad guys tell their secret plan to the protagonist since they're about to kill him anyway.
3. The author spells it "
Tom Mathews
Oct 13, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: urban fantasy buffs
This was a rather disappointing genre bender starring Joe Pitt, a vampyre, as the detective, investigating the kidnapping of a rich woman's daughter and also hunting the patient zero responsible for a recent rash of zombie (shambler) attacks.

Having recently read a book where a robot plays the role of detective (The Automatic Detective), I find it somewhat ironic that, between the two books, the robot had more personality.

Thanks to the folks at the Goodreads Pulp Fiction group for giving me the
Aug 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Cover: 3/5
Story: 4.5/5
Action: 5/5
Writing: 3/5
Favorite character(s): Evie, Phil
Most annoying character(s): Tom, Marilee

Meet vampyre Brad Pitt.
Hosted by
Hosted by

Oops, I meant JOE Pitt. :D This is his chosen vampyre name, his actual name is Simon (Pitt??). What was he thinking?

The writing wasn't extraordinary, but the story was gory, with lots of violence, blood and you don't even want to know what else! You need to have a strong stomach to read this stuff.

I liked it.

4 stars
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
colleen the convivial curmudgeon

This pretty much hits all the hard-boiled detective checkmarks, with the sole point of variation being the vampire thing, but that didn't seem to add all that much to the story 'cause the different vampire clans and groups could just be mob or gang groups, and you'd get the same schtick.

The best part was the one group of vampires with hippies and radicals. Also sort of interesting was the way the blood lust was portrayed like a drug addiction.

Other than that, Joe spends a lot of time getting
Jun 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Ross MacDonald; Comic Book Geeks; Private Eye freaks

Vampire private investigator out to find a missing girl?
Better than you'd think.
But then -it's by Charlie Huston.

Can't wait to read the other entries in the "Joe Pitt" series.
This was stupid fun.
Like getting high on nitrous oxide while smoking hydroponic.
But more addictive.

Huston amazes me.
What amazes me more is that this has been in my "to read" shelves" for over 5 years and I'm a long time fan of his writing.

Jane Stewart
Ok as a mystery, but some parts were confusing. I didn’t like Joe getting beat up all the time – too much of a victim.

Joe is a vampyre living in New York City. His vampyrism requires him to drink blood which he usually purchases but sometimes takes directly from humans without killing them. He also drinks and eats human food. The vampyres have divided Manhattan Island into several geographical areas. The vampyres north of 14th street belong to the gang called Coalition – ruled by Pre
Dec 19, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: film noir, dark, gritty mysteries
I listened to the audiobook version, which was more of a nuanced reading than a fully voiced reading. It is definitely vampire noir, a dark, gritty read that is uncomfortable and violent and often inexplicable. Still, it is fascinating and leaves questions to be answered that the next book in the series should follow up on. There is a bit of a romance, which leavens it a tiny bit, but only a tiny bit and saves it from being truly depressing in the final chapter. The main character Joe Pitt is ve ...more
Oct 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Urban Fantasy Fans
#1 Joe Pitt series - Vampire/UF (Library Book)

This is a reread, as I wanted to refresh my memory before continuing with this series.

Already Dead is a gritty, violent, hard-boiled "noir" mystery, featuring Joe Pitt, PI and vampire. Joe is going it alone by refusing to join any of the various Manhattan vampire coalitions, clans or cult-like groups. He keeps an uneasy peace with the various factions, "uneasy" being the key word.

In Book 1, there's a shambler (zombie) on the loose in Manhattan, and J
Brainycat's 5 "B"s:
blood: 5
boobs: 2
bombs: 1
bondage: 3
blasphemy: 2
Bechdel Test: FAIL
Deggan's Rule: FAIL
Gay Bechdel Test: FAIL

This book kept showing up in results from the Goodreads autorecommendation tool. I put it on my TBR, and then I found an excerpt at the back of another book I finished. Initially, I wasn't excited about the book because the writing was very staccato and didn't use a very expansive vocabulary - it looked like a candidate for my small words and short sentences shelf, which is
Suyash  Gupta
Jun 05, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Noir Fans who can take in a lot of gore
I am still not sure if i should rate it 3 or 4 stars. It's a very different book from what i have been reading for a while.Lot of Gore.Lot of Sex.I actually wanted to get out of my comfort zone and try something different, so decided to give this one a try.

Well, all in all it was fun ride.There is no moment of dullness, the constant twists and turns keep you on the edge.But this book is definitely not for the faint-hearted, it's filled with so many grotesque and grossed-out scenes, which are so
Well, I finished Sandman Slim and said I wanted something lighter and ended up with another noir, this time with a vampire protagonist named Joe Pitt who has to find a missing rich girl and track down the source of a mysterious and deadly zombie virus carrier all while in the middle of a clan turf war.

I hesitate to give this a 3 because I feel that I'm being unfair, comparing it to Sandman Slim since I read the 2 so closely, but altogether I think that Sandman Slim was a much more ambitious nov
Charlie George
Started out slow and simple, which was really bumming me out since Huston--one of my favorite authors--has more books in this series than any other. Fortunately the climax marked a return to form. Turns out there was more than met the eye to some of the characters. For example, I thought Terry and his enforcer Hurley were simplistic and unrealistic, but this is only the image they cultivate. I anticipate learning more of their backstory.

One interesting thing about reading Huston books is that it
Sep 15, 2010 marked it as dnf  ·  review of another edition
I'm abandoning ship ...

I was intrigued during the first few chapters. A Vampyre private eye who is a lone wolf? Well, that is a character that I think I might like. But then as the story progress, I feel like the characterization is flat. I cannot grasp the story because I feel that it is rambling, and the whole concept of the clans (Enclaves, Coalition, Society ... and I stopped when I encountere something about Wraith?!?!) just confused me. I also didn't feel any emotional connection or the ne
Jul 20, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Let's see, shall we catalogue? I've read vampirism-as-viral-disease, vampires in tragic romance, modern-day wizard hunting vampires in Chicago, slapstick vampire love story, vampires helping defend London against the Blitz, vampire hunter who falls in love with a vampire and also a werewolf and starts screwing everything in sight so that while the first book was shelved in horror or maybe mystery, the more recent books in the series are shelved next to the Harlequin romances...

This one was vampi
I didn't like it & found myself skimming to the end. The main character was too 'tough guy', yet he never impressed me as one. The language & tone of the book just irritated me. The logic behind the vampire virus had holes in it, too. The explanation was clunky. I kept hoping it would get better, but it never did. Just not very well written nor to my taste, just like the other Huston novel I tried. I won't bother with another of his.
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
More like 2.5 stars. The sub-Hemingway tough guy laconicism gets grating at times, and the occasional lapses into a more elaborate voice are jarring. The setting feels like the usual post-Buffy urban vampirica, but it's fast-paced and easy to read. Fast food reading.
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Urban Fantasy Afi...: Already Dead - Rachael's Choice 24 50 Jan 29, 2013 12:27AM  
  • The Naming of the Beasts (Felix Castor, #5)
  • Blood Engines (Marla Mason, #1)
  • Battle of the Network Zombies (Amanda Feral, #3)
  • X-Rated Bloodsuckers (Felix Gomez, #2)
  • Primitive
  • Kill the Dead (Sandman Slim, #2)
  • Exposure
  • Getting Old Is to Die For (Gladdy Gold, #4)
  • Snake Agent (Detective Inspector Chen, #1)
  • A Devil in the Details (Jesse James Dawson, #1)
  • Dead To Me (Simon Canderous, #1)
  • Bone Song (Tristopolis, #1)
  • Conspiracy in Kiev (The Russian Trilogy #1)
  • Dead Mann Running (Hessius Mann, #2)
  • Double Dead (Tomes of The Dead, #1)
  • Child of Fire (Twenty Palaces, #1)
  • The White Gold Score (Daniel Faust, #1.5)
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Charlie Huston is an American author of Noircrime fiction. However, according to a recent interview with Paradigm, he prefers to be classified as a writer of Pulp, due to how he writes.
More about Charlie Huston...

Other Books in the Series

Joe Pitt (5 books)
  • No Dominion (Joe Pitt, #2)
  • Half the Blood of Brooklyn (Joe Pitt, #3)
  • Every Last Drop (Joe Pitt, #4)
  • My Dead Body (Joe Pitt, #5)

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“One day, when I am a braver man, I will tell her these things, and then I will look her in the eye tell her I love her and ask her to be only mine. But until that day, we're just friends.” 1066 likes
“Not that I have any little kids running around I need to keep away from the guns. I had any kids I'd get rid of the guns. Nothing more dangerous to the life of a child than a house full of firearms. Nothing more dangerous except maybe a parent.” 3 likes
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