Sunday, April 21, 2013

Red, White and Blood (Nathaniel Cade #3) by Christopher Farnsworth

Red, White, and Blood (Nathaniel Cade Series #3)
(I borrowed this from our local library.)

Back of the Book Blurb:

The Presidential Campaign Trail, 2012: 
A political operative and a volunteer are brutally murdered while caught in a compromising position. Written in their blood on the wall of the crime scene: IT’S GOOD TO BE BACK.
And with that, a centuries-old horror known only as the Boogeyman returns to taunt Nathaniel Cade, the President’s Vampire. Against the backdrop of the 2012 presidential race, with the threat of constant exposure by the media, Cade and Zach must stop the one monster Cade has never been able to defeat completely. And they must do it before the Boogeyman adds another victim to his long and bloody list: the President of the United States himself.

This series just gets better and better.  This is easily the spookiest of the three books, probably because the Boogeyman is the creepiest bad guy I've read about in a long while.  He is Cade's oldest nemesis, and he always comes back from Hell, or the Other Side, to inhabit an average human who has sunk into such anger and hate that he invites such evil into his life.  The author then does a fabulous job of creating the myth of the Boogeyman, tying in urban legends, documented serial killers, and actual quotes from Son of Sam and the Manson Family concerning demonic possession.  By the time I was a third of the way through the book I was definitely creeped out.  I think the most terrifying aspect of evil is when we are confronted by the fact that it blends in, looks normal, and can carry on a conversation in line at the grocery store.  All of the other monsters Cade has fought are straight up "different" - species, genus, whatever, but they aren't human.  The Boogeyman wears a human like a suit of clothes, because the human lets him in.  Scary!
On top of dealing with such an enemy, Cade and Zach must also navigate the vicious waters of a political campaign, with its all-too-human scheming, and sociopathic manipulation. The President needs protection on many fronts, and in some ways the inhuman enemies are a lot more straightforward.
We learn a lot more about Zach in Red, White and Blood, and he really comes into his own as his past and present lives collide. As Zach tries to work in both, he comes to realize that his new position is all-encompassing.  He can't have a normal life, and if he tries to he will endanger everyone he cares about.  Throughout all three books Zach and Cade have been so well-developed that I feel like I know them.  Both man and vampire are so fleshed out, so real, and they continue to change as events mold them.  And I think that is one of the reasons why this series is so damn good - it's believable.  Even with vampires and demons and creepy critters, the action, the mysteries and the stories are so completely grounded  by the characters.  Add in a seamless blending of historic record, conspiracy theories, and real people, and the world of Nathaniel Cade feels like our own.  The shocking and ironic ending of this book reinforces that as well, and has lingered in my mind for days.
This is top-notch storytelling. 

Check out the author's website at

The President's Vampire (Nathaniel Cade Series #2)   Blood Oath (Nathaniel Cade Series #1)

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