Review: Bite, by Gardner Goldsmith

Sylv is a vampire hunter, an ex-vampire hunter. He’s carried his past failures with him all his life and now he’s getting out of this deadly game. Except now there’s a woman. And now there’s one last job.

This novella is a real gem. If Chandler wrote vampire fiction he’d write it like this. Bite is hard-boiled noir all the way through, with great dialogue, fist-fights, beautiful women, and lonely evenings in the same old bar with the same old buddies. Goldsmith has taken the style and pace of this genre, made it his own, and added a dash of the supernatural.

What I really like about this story is the focus on Sylv, his life, his hopes, and how in the end he’s prepared to risk it all for one final chance. Destroying vampires is a job, Sylv isn’t the best but he’s good enough. This one last job gives Sylv the chance to open up and take some chances for a shot at the main chance. He takes risks, he puts his life on the line, and all to help a stranger. A beautiful stranger. And all the while he knows he shouldn’t be doing it, that he should walk away and take the safe path. Sylv isn’t just trying to save her, he’s trying to save himself.

Goldsmith gives us glimpses of the real Sylv beneath the tough guy, that hard-bitten street-wise gun for hire. It’s grudgingly given, revealed in brief introspections and slips of the tongue, the questions and comments of Zeke the barman and the other people in Sylv’s life.

Bite is Gardner Goldsmith’s debut novella and I thoroughly recommend you get a copy. Enjoy.

Bite, ISBN 978 1 906864 39 2
Pendragon Press, 2013
www.pendragonpress.net

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