1930’s Books

The first Book I want to talk about is It Drinks Blood by J.F. Gonzalez from Delirium Books. Delirium books is a small independent publisher of horror literature that has been in business since 1999. Delirium distributes titles from some big name horror authors such as Douglas Clegg and also releases titles from new authors in the horror field. They’ve also won a Bram Stoker award for excellence  in specialty press publishing.

The story for It Drinks Blood begins in 1939 and follows a pulp fiction writer and ex-criminal named  Robert and his life in New Castle Pennsylvania. Living next door to Robert is an abused girl named Allison who is living with her mother Linda, her grandmother, and Linda’s boyfriend James. Allison lives a life of torture at the hands of Linda and James but Robert and his wife Ellen try to help Allison whenever they can.

In addition to the abuse Allison has also noticed something peculiar in the town of New Castle. A series of people have been killed around town over the last few years and Allison has her eyes on a strange man who walks the streets late at night.  She  believes that the man may be a vampire  who drinks the blood of his victims and leaves the bodies in a nearby swamp. Allison dreams of becoming a detective and hopes that by exposing the strange man walking the streets as a serial killer, she will become famous and be able to leave her abusive home.

Robert encourages Allison’s detective work because he also sees it as a way for her to escape her abusive home. Problem is, Robert believes that another person living in the town may actually be the killer.  Allison’s time may be running out though as the abuse in her home is getting worse and the bodies drained of blood keep piling up.

I enjoyed reading It Drinks Blood, it has a good story and I found myself rooting for Allison and Robert and hoping for a happy ending. If your looking for a straight forward horror novel though, this may not be for you. It’s more of a mystery with some horror elements. Also its written to resemble pulp fiction of the 1930’s, so it is a period piece and if you are not familiar with pulp fiction you may not enjoy it.

One other item that kind of bothered me was that there is a scene where Allison describes the torture that she suffers at the hands of her mother. I don’t like hearing about the torture of kids, but it is a short part and was necessary to show what motivates Allison.  I did like  how the the book wraps up with Allison and Robert in the present day in an old folks home talking about their lives after the murders and explaining how the mystery was solved.

It Drinks Blood is a good, quick read with a lot of action and a mystery that doesn’t get solved until the very end. The book  leaves you with the feeling that maybe serial killers have their good points as well. If you love old pulp fiction magazines such as Weird Tales or Black Book Detective then you should love this story. J.G. Gonzalez has really done his homework.

Another book  I found is by H.P. Lovecraft called The Shadow Over Innsmouth. This novel was written in 1931 and is about a town called Innsmouth which is inhabited by a race of people who are half human, half fish and worship the god Cuthulu. There is also a movie based on this book called Dagon which came out in 2001 and was directed by Stuart Gordon who also directed  Reanimator and From Beyond which were also based on works of H.P. Lovecraft.

The last book I found also includes H.P. Lovecraft but this time he is a character in the book and not the writer. The story takes place in 1934 and follows Lovecraft as he is hired to write a story for an underground magazine. In order to write it he has to take Trolley No. 1852 to a  bordello that hosts the most beautiful women and in the back room are monsters performing horrible tasks and opening doors to other dimensions. The name of the book is Trolley No. 1852 by Edward Lee. This book obviously pays homage to the works of Lovecraft by including characters and situations from his stories but it also includes Lee’s hard core writing style and plenty of sex and blood.

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